Congratulations to Devin Gardner, Academic Pioneer

By Jason Priestas on May 6, 2013 at 6:52a
Devin Gardner and Denard Robinson at Michigan's graduation ceremonies.Devin Gardner and Denard Robinson [@dg1two]

Michigan's quarterback of the past and the now both graduated Saturday along with 5,000 other students on a sunny day in Ann Arbor.

Denard Robinson, on his way to the NFL as a Jacksonville Jaguar, graduated with a vaunted Michigan degree in General Studies.

Devin Gardner, if you're to believe his MGoBlue profile which is updated with fresh statistics and details from the 2012 season, managed to walk in three and a half years with a degree in undeclared. To take snaps for the Wolverines in 2013, Gardner will have to begin graduate work in the fall, where we presume he'll be getting his master's degree in undeclared. That's a first, as far as we're aware.

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Lincoln's picture

I'm a little torn. Getting a degree is a great thing regardless. I have a Marketing degree and have used exactly none of it since I am now in IT (and have been for 6 years, pretty much ever since I graduated from tOSU) . I want to say good for him to walk in 3.5 years
Ahh screw it, It's Michigan. Get a major you slacker. Graduate program should involve many lessons in "What topping would you like on that?"

JollyFatMan's picture

Funny.. my marketing degree landed me in IT as well. Ahh, the economy. How we love you. 

How firm thy friendship..

Triv's picture

Currently majoring in info systems at OSU, which likely will lead me to an IT life as well. Unless my some odd switch up I end up with a career in marketing...

Sorry Urban, Woody is still my favorite

zenshade's picture

Now that's funny right there... :)
Wouldn't surprise me, ha ha.

RedStorm45's picture

General Studies v.s. Undeclared?
Gardner got his red-shirt, so he's looking at two years of grad courses if he wants to stick around.

dbit's picture

That's going to be one hell of a dissertation!

hail2victors9's picture

Per an interview with ESPN's College Football Live crew, Gardner said he will be working to obtain his Master's degree in Social Work.  MLive published an article stating the same.
Maybe it's all in good fun, and I understand the poke, but with as many athletes that don't get a degree (a large number of professional busts, to boot), I don't think any kid from any school should be knocked for this accomplishment, regardless of the program of study.  Not to mention, two of OSU's graduating members earned their degree in Sports and Leisure Studies.

Those who stay will be CHAMPIONS!

~Bo Schembechler

Ramzy Nasrallah's picture

Maybe it's all in good fun, and I understand the poke, but with as many athletes that don't get a degree (a large number of professional busts, to boot), I don't think any kid from any school should be knocked for this accomplishment, regardless of the program of study.

Careful, you're ceding Michigan's academic high ground. You meant to say you don't think any kid at Michigan should be knocked for this accomplishment, because a degree in Undeclared (or more likely, General Studies) from Ann Arbor is holds the value of four doctorates from East Lansing.

Graduating on time or early is impressive. Doing so through a course of study that is basically a buffet of 200-level courses and pre-reqs is like getting getting a hole in one on the first hole of putt-putt. Still an achievement, but let's try to keep the soft bigotry of overcongratulating an athlete who basically majored in Eligibility to a dull roar.

Terrelle Pryor was an "Exploring" major with honors on track to graduate in about the same time when his college career was abruptly ended largely on his behalf. I don't think any kid from any school should be knocked for this accomplishment, regardless of the program of study shatters the condescending worldview held by a lot of your fellow Wolverines (and adopted Wolverines, who freely borrow it as gift-wrap for their inferior resumes).

Grayskullsession's picture

This cannot be stressed enough. I get crap all the time from TSUN fans at work because of their "academic superiority". I like to remind them every now and then that their football players are not held to the same standards as normal students. Almost no university holds their football players to the same standards. Trying to claim academic high ground in any instance for TSUN holds no ground (pun intended).

"if irony were made of strawberries, we' d all be drinking a lot of smoothies right now."

hail2victors9's picture

First, this has nothing to do with "Michigan's academic high ground."  And if you took my comment as me thinking that a general studies, or the like, degree program is as difficult as an engineering or business degree, you should know better.  Football players, for many years have taken easier-than-not paths to a college degree.  That's much more common than the Aaron Crafts of the world being pre-med and majoring in big-time college sports.  Undergrad degrees are more and more approaching equivalency of a HS diploma when it comes to entering the workforce, whereas a Master's degree will soon be what a Bachelor's was 5 years ago.  The fact that he qualified for a degree at a 4-year college and intends to obtain a Master's degree in a respectable program, all the while hoping to have an NFL career, is still an accomplishment to be proud of.  That goes for Sparty and every school out there.  Is it strange to have an non-concentrated degree?  Sure.  Should he be knocked for it?  I don't think so.  If that's over-congratulating him, than so be it.  If Cardale Jones walks with a degree in General Studies, Sports and Leisure, or anything else, he'll be due congratulations, as well, in my book.

Those who stay will be CHAMPIONS!

~Bo Schembechler

sathey's picture

These so called degrees are a joke! Sports and Leisure? Social Work? Really!? But a bachelor's degree in General Studies and in Undeclared take the cake! 

hail2victors9's picture

I can agree with all except Social Work.  Why is that a joke?  Learning how to help people, almost always in unfavorable positions, from special needs to children services to mentors and counselors.  I think it's very respectable and if people in these positions are educated on how to be better at it, we'll all benefit.

Those who stay will be CHAMPIONS!

~Bo Schembechler

Idaho Helga's picture

Agreed.  While Social Work isn't exactly Nuclear Engineering it is a respectable degree.

dubjayfootball90's picture

I like Social work because it is a very interesting path, and one that does not get the credit it deserves for the potential help and growth that it may bring to a family, a child, etc. 

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

sathey's picture

I stand corrected on Social Work. I looked up some careers in Social Work and they are very respectable. 

zenshade's picture

I don't think any degree is a joke.  Not even "Undeclared".
In fact, if I had it to do over again, I'd specifically go for getting a degree in "Undeclared" and take exactly and only the courses I was interested in.
I know it borders on sacrilege, but I think kids worry way too much about specific career paths as undergrads.  Which doesn't make a lot of sense now-a-days, when you've literally got PhD's, even in technical fields, working as janitors.  We are way overspecialized as a society, in my opinion.
Kids should satisfy their intellectual curiosity as much as possible, and take the time to find out where they really want to make their mark in the world.  There's a good chance it won't even be in a field related to their major.
I have a lot of input in hiring technical/programming staff for the company I work for.  The best people we've hired have been the generalists who were willing to learn, not the specialists with computer science degrees.

AngelHeartsBuckeyes's picture

I am working on an MSW. Not an easy thing. There is a heavy emphasis on research and statistics. Also, learn the DSM IV-TR (soon to be the '5') or one of 20 different counseling theories and we'll talk.
I already have a graduate degree and the one in social work has proven to be much more challenging than the first (Criminology).

Buckeye born and bred. Buckeye til I'm dead.

CommandHead's picture

This Cardale Jones?

LouGroza's picture

Thanks Ramzy. Thought for some strange, inexplicable reason, as obvious as they usually seem to be, why no one else caught the subtleties of intention the rival faction leaves here. Maybe also just didn't feel it was worthy of the time.

Jonnferrell's picture

Congratulations to both those guys for getting their degree.  I hear that Devin was just embarrassed to declare his major.  It is a BA in Getting your Butt Kicked by OSU Three Years in a Row.  LOL.

"I miss Brady Hoke."

bigbadbuck's picture

sounds like a nerve just got twanged

Gentlemen, you can't fight in here, its a war room

BoFuquel's picture

Social Work? tweet, tweet, tweet. GO BUCKS!

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

Grayskullsession's picture

How does any academic institution let someone graduate with a degree in 'Undeclared'? Am I missing something here?

"if irony were made of strawberries, we' d all be drinking a lot of smoothies right now."

bukyze's picture

I think that's exactly what their faces looked like every time one of their professors began to talk.

gobucks96's picture

... and ask them why they haven't been to class yet.

Doc's picture

Ah!  The Harvard of the West indeed!

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

BUCKtuckian's picture

Dang coach, what you eat last night?? It be stankin.

People are saying that I'm an alcoholic, and that's not true, because I only drink when I work, and I'm a workaholic.
Ron White

bigbadbuck's picture

Doughnuts Doughnuts Doughnuts...............

Gentlemen, you can't fight in here, its a war room

wibuckeye's picture

Maybe Denard should have studied haberdashery so he could put his cap on correctly.


dubjayfootball90's picture

Look good. Feel good. Graduate good.

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

You can get a degree in "Undeclared"?  I thought THE WHOLE POINT IN A DEGREE IS THAT IT IS IN SOMETHING!  lol

Class of 2010.

BuckeyeChief's picture

Meh...for years I have been hearing "the outside world" just wants to see you stick to something and get a degree, even if that is not what you are working in. Right now, I have enough credits (because of rank and experience) to get a degree in electronics or oceanography and I am qualified to be a substitute teacher.
The first 2 don't interest me, and I have zero tolerance for BS so I would make a horrible teacher. (As a matter of fact, during a recent training session, I had a Sailor make some inappropriate comments and I kicked him out of the training; while I was yelling at him, the first thought I had was "My wife was right").
So, he stuck with it long enough to graduate, and I applaud him. This makes twice in a week I have had to stick up for a wolverweenie.

"2014 National with it!!!"

cplunk's picture

Yeah, I hate to say it b/c I don't want to defend TSUN guys, but WHAT your degree is in doesn't matter in most cases. Obvious exceptions to that statement include virtually all the engineering degrees, so I'm not making an across-the-board blanket statement. I'm speaking more toward the liberal arts degrees-- communications, marketing, political science, history, business (yes, I include all business degrees other than Finance or Accounting). 
I work in Strategic Procurement and Contracts, and my degrees were in Political Science, Criminal Justice, Assistive Technology, and Government Contracting. One out of four isn't bad, I guess.
Far more important than the degree is the way in which you take advantage of the opportunities that earning it presents in college- making contacts, building experience through internships, etc. I can't emphasize this enough to all you folks that are still in school, but twenty years of experience have taught me STAY IN TOUCH WITH EVERYBODY IN YOUR FIELD. Everybody. Meet people in your classes and keep their contact info. Stay in touch with past bosses and coworkers. Career advancement is all about who you know.
Athletes have a huge advantage in that they get to graduate with free connections. Everybody that follows sports knows who they are. 

Earle's picture

Four degrees?  You're only 2 away from Kevin Bacon status.  Go for it!

Snarkies gonna snark. 

cplunk's picture

Haha, no- I am without a doubt done with school. I have two certifications too. 
I am a perfect example of how the more certifications and degrees somebody has, the less useful they are in daily life.

acBuckeye's picture

Gardner's degree wasn't Undeclared. It was in Getting Owned:

ih8rolltyde's picture

Arguably the greatest picture in the history of photography. The Fine Arts class they made me take makes me sure.

****igan smells like old water that hot dogs were boiled in.  FACT

ATT2121's picture

This might be the greatest post I have ever seen.


"It all goes so fast, and character makes the difference when it's close."
Jesse Owens

sharks's picture

I can only upvote once, but damned if I don't keep clicking on it in vain.

A man got to have a code...

tdible2132's picture

Lol congrats Devin. Anybody else see that Damon Webb was at his grad party? Damon posted a photo of him and Devin on twitter about it. I wonder how their conversations went lol. 

ATXbucknut's picture

Congratulations to Devin and all the recent graduates who can now stand on their own two feet, so to speak.

hail2victors9's picture

I won't post it here (as this is an OSU site), but there is a picture of all of the football graduates in the Big House tunnel with Dick Costello, the CEO of Twitter.  It's very easy to find using the Twitter or Google if you so desire.

Those who stay will be CHAMPIONS!

~Bo Schembechler

Nick's picture

I'll take your twitter CEO and raise you a POTUS

GoBlueBlood's picture

Two can play that game! We had him 2 years ago, I was feeling special until I realized these are quite common. With that said, it speaks volumes about the universities who he deems worthy. No surprise both Michigan and OSU got him to come. 

CowCat's picture

, but he wore our hat, and not yours, so ... Neener, neener, neener!!!

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer

hail2victors9's picture

Not that I'm overly impressed, but he was also there on the campaign trail, Winter '11-'12.  He mentioned Denard, who was in attendance.


Those who stay will be CHAMPIONS!

~Bo Schembechler

tennbuckeye19's picture

Why do I get the impression Denard's face in the photo has less to do with cheesin' a stank face for the camera, and more to do with him thinking "Do I really have to play for the Jaguars?"

TheBadOwl's picture

Probably because Denard Robinson really has to play for the Jaguars.

When I walked in this morning and saw the flag was at half mast I thought, "Alright, another bureaucrat ate it." but then I saw it was Li'l Sebastian. Half mast is too high. Show some damn respect.

jarheadbuckeyefan's picture

Especially since they seem to be looking to use him as a running back. So he's probably thinking of how long it might be before he gets destroyed by some MLB.

"The only meaningful statistic is number of games won."~ Woody Hayes

NoVA Buckeye's picture

Counting down the days until Phil Taylor absolutely demolishes him

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

cajunbuckeye's picture

Nobody should congratulate Michiscum players on 11W.

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

Poison nuts's picture

This isn't Nam.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

hetuck's picture

Maybe Gardner will take the NCAA transfer exemption & transfer to immediately play for a team with championship potential (tic).

Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

Vince Lombardi

Menexenus's picture

Remind me why we bother pretending college football players are students who give two craps about a college education again? 
Let's just pay them for their services and end this charade already.  It's getting embarrassing.

Real fans stay for Carmen.

741's picture

Do you think it is wise to talk smack about Gardner's "General Studies" degree when we have guys graduating with "Athletics and Leisure Studies" degrees?
Leisure Studies?!!!
Someone needs to re-think the naming of that degree program.

Knarcisi's picture

scUM on this site = Buckeye envy

sharks's picture

Jesus, Denard.  You're a millionaire now- get some whitestrips for chrissakes

A man got to have a code...

Dr. House's picture

don't worry he has all four years to pick a degree.....o wait

Idaho Helga's picture

I can remember debating between 2 majors at tOSU and my counselor telling me around my junior year I basically had to pick a major.  Until today, I had no idea you could graduate without one. 
Not getting political here, but it's now a fact that America now owes more in student load debt than credit card debt.   It isn't because we quit using credit cards.  Ramzy's article is a great source as to one of the reasons why.
Granted, these players didn't have to pay for their education, but imagine having $40k-$60k-$??k in student loans and leaving with either of their "degrees".  I don't care if you went to Harvard, as an employer I wouldn't be particularly impressed and I've hired hundreds of people over the years mostly in technical positions. 
Football players too often expect their employer to be the NFL, which won't care about a degree.  I just think its sad the opportunity wasted for those who don't make the NFL and blew the chance for a quality education at no cost.

southbymidwest's picture

Just think-if Denard did play QB for Jacksonville, his center could very well have been Mike Brewster. Wow.

Scott K's picture

They both look like they're squeezing out a dook...

"There's a fine line between stupid, and....clever.  David St. Hubbins/Nigel Tufnel

DJRoss926's picture

A true Michigan Man cannot be bothered to pigeon-hole himself in one corner of academia. He must remain free to wander aimlessly through a wilderness of electives.