Football was once the driving force in Pasha Jackson's life.
Including his two seasons at the University of Oklahoma, he had his sights set on the National Football League.
Fortunately, he understood that in order to accomplish such lofty goals, he needed to keep his life in order both on the field and off. It is a challenging lifestyle that has taken its toll on many starry-eyed student-athletes over time.
"The life of a student-athlete is very demanding," said Jackson. "Ultimately, you are going to make sacrifices, so you have to make sure you have your priorities in order. You have to ask yourself what you are going to be after football " and you'd better make sure you have an answer."
Jackson found that limiting his social time and maximizing his study time was his only chance to keeping an eye on the big picture.
"The system places like OU have in place for student-athletes is designed to help you succeed. The tutoring, the study halls " if you really want to make it, you are going to make it," said Jackson, who earned his degree in sociology from OU.
"You see too many of today's student-athletes get caught up in their social lives and all the crazy stuff that goes on, especially around football players, and that's going to almost certainly lead you down the wrong path," he said. "Making good decisions is so critical." "Jay C. Upchurch