Making a big impact

Published 9:40 pm Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Getting the chance to meet and speak with Greg Scott about his Cover 3 Football charity organization left me with a couple lasting thoughts.

First, the former Southampton High and Hampton University, then Cincinnati Bengal and Washington Redskin, defensive lineman is literally twice my size. There are guys in the NFL even larger than him? I can barely comprehend that.

My next thought, hopefully slightly more profound, was comparing everything about Scott’s humility and generosity to say, just for an example, Latrell Sprewell of NBA fame.

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Seven years ago, Sprewell was with the Minnesota Timberwolves making $14.6 million a year when he demanded either a trade or a new contract.

Even more disturbing than simply being unhappy with such a contract, Sprewell infamously said, “Why would I want to help (Minnesota) win a title? They’re not doing anything for me. I’m at risk. I have a lot of risk here. I got my family to feed.”

Scott was an offensive (tight end) and defensive (linebacker) all-state and All-American during his days at Southampton. He was one of Hampton’s best players ever. The Redskins drafted him in the seventh round and he played in the NFL, NFL Europe and Arena Football for five years.

No one should feel sorry over the money Scott made, but by no stretch of the imagination was it crazy, ready-to-retire money.

“I got to see the world. I’ve been able to take care of my family, all because football’s been great to me. I never thought I’d be able to do that. Because the game’s been so good to me, I could never leave the game out of what I’m doing,” Scott said.

Scott’s providing thousands of kids around the region with football, education, camps and food. Each part of the list of what Cover 3 Football does really adds up to mentoring kids, giving them self-esteem, confidence and the knowledge that people love them, whether they grow up to be a 6-foot-4, 280-pound lineman or not.

Of course Scott isn’t doing this solely with his own finances. It’s through his care, leadership, motivation and pounding the pavement.

“We try to be a positive outlet for youth in this area because it’s definitely needed right now,” Scott said.

There are a lot more pro athletes fitting this description than are given credit for, but if Scott had hit it big with an eight-figure contract, it would’ve been deserved and money well-spent by a franchise’s owner.

Superstar pro athletes sell more jerseys, make more all-star games, are in commercials and sign bigger contracts. Yet Scott’s an infinitely bigger role model and civic leader.