“The real world” is a phrase that normally strikes fear into most young adults.
But we are not talking about that oh-so-popular “reality” show on MTV.
Imagine the “real world” without a college degree.
Just a little more frightening, isn’t it?
That is exactly what Owls starting defensive end Tyrone Ditzel was faced with last year.
He had become academically ineligible, and had his scholarship taken away from him.
What do you do when such an unfortunate situation arises?
You get a job of course.
Ditzel moved in with a friend, and began to work full time at an auto-parts store, and then a car rental business.
He went back to school in an effort to regain his eligibility.
Last spring, the tight end turned defensive end carried eighteen credits.
This past summer, another nine.
“I can’t be anymore proud of what Tyrone has done,” Temple coach Bobby Wallace said.
“He worked, paid his way, and got himself back to where he should be.”
Ditzel is proud of himself, too.
He was so emotional at the Owl’s season opener against Richmond that he had tears in his eyes.
He recovered two fumbles that game and has made 27 tackles so far this season.
Emotional does not describe how Ditzel, a native of Colquitt, Georgia, felt when the Owls played against Lou Holtz and his South Carolina squad.
“It felt like the very first time I ever played,” he said.
“My mom hasn’t seen me play in an Owl’s uniform ever. It was just the best feeling. That was my bowl game.”
On getting a taste of the real world, Ditzel said, “I wouldn’t advise that anyone try it, but it’s something I can look back on and say that I accomplished.”
Initially, Tyrone wasn’t very happy with Wallace’s decision to revoke his scholarship.
“At the beginning, I wasn’t too happy with it, but now I look back on it, and appreciate it, it helped me grow up,” he said.
Hopefully, Ditzel’s experience will help the younger players on Temple’s football team, because the real world is certainly no easier than the world of college football.
Andrew Monaghan can be reached at ACTMONO@aol.com.