Former Alabama star quarterback Greg McElroy took exception to Oregon pass-rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux taking a jab at the kind of education the Tuscaloosa-based university offers.
Thibodeaux revealed to FOX Sports’ Joel Klatt on Wednesday he went to Oregon over Alabama because of the “stigmatism” related to education in Alabama. Thibodeaux really meant “stigma.”
“Do you know the stigmatism of Alabama education? It ain’t the West Coast,” Thibodeaux said. “It ain’t Harvard.”
Oregon Ducks defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux after a college football game between the Oregon Ducks and the UCLA Bruins on Oct. 23, 2021. (Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Thibodeaux said he was looking at the bigger picture when he chose Oregon, and the Ducks’ affiliation with Nike played a part in it.
“What people don’t realize is that football is an American sport,” Thibodeaux said. “So, no matter how great Alabama is, you only play football in America, Canada and a couple other places. But a brand like Nike, I mean, for me it was like what brand associations do I want to be tied to?”
But something Thibodeaux said struck a cord with McElroy, who is currently a college football analyst for ESPN. McElroy and his co-host Cole Cubelic talked about Thibodeaux’s comments on Birmingham’s WJOX radio station and took a shot at the future first-round pick for his usage of “stigmatism.”
“He says he doesn’t like the stigma that athletes are dumb jocks, and yet, he sounds like a dumb jock,” McElroy said, via the Tuscaloosa News.
In this Dec. 6, 2018, file photo, Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley (1) is sacked by Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux (5) during the second half of an NCAA college football game for the Pac-12 Conference championship in Santa Clara, California. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
“What I don’t understand is why he felt the need to cut down Alabama. And as someone who has always taken his academic situation very seriously, I’ll just come at him with this — if he’d like to take an IQ test, I’m available. If he’d like to take the Wonderlic test, I’m available. As a proud graduate with multiple degrees from Alabama, I will put my degree up against his any day of the week.”
McElroy played for Alabama from 2007 to 2011 and won a national title with the team in 2010. As far as his education went, McElroy earned a business marketing degree and a Master of Science degree in sports management. He finished with a 4.0 GPA and was a Rhodes Scholarship finalist in 2010.
“I’d like to show him the offers, because I would be willing to bet that Harvard didn’t offer him. I think they probably would have taken him, but Harvard did offer me — as did Yale, as did Princeton, as did almost every Ivy League school along with Duke, Stanford, Northwestern and Vanderbilt. And I chose Alabama, so put ‘er there Kayvon Thibodeaux,” he said.
“… Meet me at the Wonderlic (test). Meet me there, Kayvon. Come get some. Match my 48 — or 43, whichever one it was.”
SEC Network analyst Greg McElroy on Jan. 11, 2016. (Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire)
Thibodeaux declared for the NFL Draft in December. The Wonderlic test, which is among the tools used to assess incoming prospects, is not exactly the best measurement. According to Wonderlic, the average score is 20.