Sunday, September 29, 2013

Why Wilson Left

As we told you on Sept. 21 in the comments section of this post, Robert Wilson has left the Gannon basketball program to pursue a career in criminal justice. As I wrote back then, "My understanding of the situation is that Wilson will not play for the Knights this season because he has enrolled in the police academy which will conflict with basketball activities. I believe the redshirt senior has already earned his degree during his 4 years of school (2 at Urbana, 2 at Gannon) and, according to a Gannon press release this summer, had a 3.60 cumulative grade point average as a criminal justice major. So good for him that he's moving on in his career field, but bad for us Gannon fans to lose such a contributor."

Shortly after posting that information, I received an email from Diana Woolf, Robert's mother. I asked her if I could share what she wrote to me, and she obliged. The following includes excerpts from her two emails to me. I think they're revealing about the "why" behind Wilson's move and how he and his family feel about the Gannon program.

I just wanted to give you the correct information about Robert before the rumors get started. Robert had fully intended on playing this season. Unfortunately the Chesterfield Police Department (VA) bumped their police academy up from June 2014 to Feb 2014. This is an opportunity for Robert to be on a great department with a ton of potential for career growth.

He is bummed about not being able to play but feels this is not an opportunity he can pass up. He has really enjoyed being with his teammates and his time at Gannon University. I personally can't thank Gannon enough for a great education. It was a difficult decision.

I don't want anyone to think Robert just left the team on bad terms or left his teammates hanging. Honestly when he took the police entrance exam it was supposed to be for practice. We then realized it was for the June 2014 academy and after researching the department we suggested to him that he follows the process thinking AWESOME, final year of basketball and then a job right after the school year. 

It was a dark cloud over all of us when they called and told him the academy was being bumped up to February. UGH!

Thank you for the kind comments. He loved the fans and playing at Gannon. He will finish out the semester at Gannon. Go Knights!

So, clearly this is not an angry student-athlete bolting a team and telling the coach "take your scholarship and shove it!" Wilson is leaving on what seems to be excellent terms, and Gannon fans should be thrilled that he used his basketball skills to obtain his degree so he could seek his dream job.

We'll talk more later about how Wilson's absence impacts Gannon's lineup, but for now we should celebrate the success of a student-athlete with a Gannon degree. Just like his mom said, "Go Knights!", I think we should all say, "Go Robert!" This is what college athletics should be all about.