Major congratulations to former Cardinal basketball stars DeJuan Wheat and Marques Maybin, who will be graduates participating in U of L's Spring 2012 commencement exercises on May 12.
Both Wheat and Maybin returned to school and earned their degree through the Houston-Bridgeman Fellows Cardinal Degree Completion Program. The program was established in 2000 to assist former student-athletes who have exhausted their athletic scholarship eligibility with the cost of full- or part-time tuition and books associated with completing their degree at U of L.
The program provides employment opportunities through the UofL Athletic Association to allow former scholarship student-athletes the opportunity to receive financial assistance to complete their degrees. A total of 55 former student-athletes have graduated through the Houston-Bridgeman Fellows and Project Graduate, a statewide program that helps people with 90 or more college credit hours complete their degree.
Wheat and Maybin are two of the five graduates in this year's class from the Houston-Bridgeman Fellows Cardinal Degree Completion Program. Dion Edward (men's basketball, 1998-2000 at UofL) and Richard "Junior" Jones (football, 1983-85) are also Spring 2012 graduates while Joe Jacoby (football, 1978-80), a four-time Super Bowl participant with the Washington Redskins, was a Fall 2011 graduate.
You hear a lot of college athletes talking about coming back and earning their degrees eventually, but you rarely see the eventual follow-up story of them making that happen. Kudos to these guys, and all the other former Cardinal athletes, for setting such a positive example.
Also, it's hard not to feel extra good for a guy like Marques, who has rarely been seen not smiling since returning to Louisville after his accident.