Collegians more and more like pros

Originally Published: November 17, 2004
By Rod Gilmore | ESPN Insider
My confidence in college football has been shaken. I was stunned to see state troopers trying to separate 200 brawling Clemson and South Carolina football players last weekend. Of course, this is not the first time a brawl occurred at a college football game, but it has been a few years since we've had one like this.

But the fact the South Carolina-Clemson fight followed the Pistons-Pacers fight brought the collegiate-professional dichotomy into focus.

I was struck by the realization that fans and media no longer see a difference between professional and college players. Somehow, the notion of student-athletes fighting didn't seem so out of character since, as one Clemson player put it, the Pistons-Pacers fight "was worse" since the basketball players fought with fans. The distinctive line between those two worlds has become blurred.

Rod Gilmore

College Football analyst
Rod Gilmore serves as an ESPN studio analyst on SportsCenter and College Football Live, and provides commentary on ESPN's Friday night game telecasts. He writes regularly for ESPN Insider.