Top NFL Draft prospect sounds off on college sports: 'Football and school don't go together'

UCLA's Josh Rosen is one of the better quarterbacks in college football, but that doesn't mean he approves of the student-athlete lifestyle.

In a recent interview with Matt Hayes of Bleacher Report, Rosen offered some insightful comments on the experience of balancing football and academics. He believes that certain aspects of student-athlete life, such as incredibly compressed schedules and a lack of compensation, are unfair to players who have ambitions beyond the NFL. He also believes that the presence of so many players who aren't focused on school creates an environment that does not value academics.

Rosen dismissed the early graduations of players like Deshaun Watson, who took three years to earn a sociology degree from Clemson, as a counterargument, saying that not all majors are created equal.

"If I wanted to graduate in three years, I'd just get a sociology degree," he said. "I want to get my MBA. I want to create my own business. When I'm finished with football, I want a seamless transition to life and work and what I've dreamed about doing all my life. I want to own the world."

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CORONADO, CA - MAY 27: Josh Rosen of UCLA attends Steve Clarkson's 13th Annual Quarterback Retreat on May 27, 2017 in Coronado, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 05: Quarterback Josh Rosen #3 of the UCLA Bruins smiles as he walks off the field after the game with the Virginia Cavaliers at the Rose Bowl on September 5, 2015 in Pasadena, California. UCLA won 34-16. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 05: Quarterback Josh Rosen #3 of the UCLA Bruins warms up for the game with the Virginia Cavaliersat the Rose Bowl on September 5, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 12: Quarterback Josh Rosen #3 of the UCLA Bruins looks to pass against the UNLV Rebels during a game at Sam Boyd Stadium on September 12, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
TUCSON, AZ - SEPTEMBER 26: Quarterback Josh Rosen #3 of the UCLA Bruins warms up before the college football game against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium on September 26, 2015 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
TUCSON, AZ - SEPTEMBER 26: Quarterback Josh Rosen #3 of the UCLA Bruins watches from the sidelines during the first quarter of the college football game against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium on September 26, 2015 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
STANFORD, CA - OCTOBER 15: Josh Rosen #3 of the UCLA Bruins looks to throws a pass against the Stanford Cardinal's in the first quarter of an NCAA football game at Stanford Stadium on October 15, 2015 in Stanford, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 28: Josh Rosen #3 of the UCLA Bruins looks down field during the second quarter against the USC Trojans at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 28, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - DECEMBER 26: Josh Rosen #3 of the UCLA Bruins runs back to the bench after he threw a touchdown pass to Kenneth Walker III against the Nebraska Cornhuskers during the Foster Farms Bowl at Levi's Stadium on December 26, 2015 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
COLLEGE STATION, TX - SEPTEMBER 03: Josh Rosen #3 of the UCLA Bruins looks for a receiver in the first half against the Texas A&M Aggies on September 3, 2016 in College Station, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: Quarterback Josh Rosen #3 of the UCLA Bruins stands on the field during warmups for the game with the UNLV Rebels at the Rose Bowl on September 10, 2016 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
PROVO, UT - SEPTEMBER 17: Quarterback Josh Rosen #3 of the UCLA Bruins looks to pass the ball in the first quarter against the Brigham Young Cougars at LaVell Edwards Stadium on September 17, 2016 in Provo, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - OCTOBER 01: Josh Rosen #3 of the UCLA Bruins walks off the field after defeating the Arizona Wildcats 45-24 in a game at the Rose Bowl on October 1, 2016 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
October 8, 2016: UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen #3 warms up before the Pac-12 college football game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Az. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CORONADO, CA - MAY 27: Josh Rosen of UCLA attends Steve Clarkson's 13th Annual Quarterback Retreat on May 27, 2017 in Coronado, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
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Rosen, the owner of a 135.8 passer rating in 19 games as a Bruin, is considered one of the most intriguing quarterback prospects in the country and could be a high selection in the 2018 NFL Draft. In today's league, even backup quarterbacks have significant earning power, so just a few seasons could potentially set him up for life.

But Rosen doesn't just want to prepare for life after football as well as he can -- he also recognizes that most NCAA athletes will never sniff the professional ranks.

"You have a bunch of people at the universities who are supposed to help you out, and they're more interested in helping you stay eligible," he said. "At some point, universities have to do more to prepare players for university life and help them succeed beyond football. There's so much money being made in this sport. It's a crime to not do everything you can to help the people who are making it for those who are spending it."

Rosen isn't the first athlete to call for a better, more balanced experience for student-athletes -- Richard Sherman famously addressed the issue during a 2015 press conference, while former Syracuse cornerback Julian Whigham sounded off just recently. But it's refreshing to hear a current student summarize the issue in such plain terms.

Rosen and UCLA will kick off their season on September 3, when they host Texas A&M.

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