How former BYU football player Andrew Rich walked away from the NFL

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  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Oct. 15, 2012 1:42 p.m.

    Good for Andrew Rich. This story is inspiring. BTW, my sister had the very first operation of the same kind that Andrew Rich's son had many, many years ago. Hopefully, her experience back in 1965 helped out the Rich's son with his operations. My sister was the guinea pig so to speak.

  • Guam_Bomb BARRIGADA, GU
    Oct. 14, 2012 9:02 a.m.

    Had a hard time swallowing this story. Especially the part where he looks around, sees the guys on the field and says he had nothing left to prove and dropped a few names. It was a great accomplishment to make it to an NFL camp, but he did nothing with the opportunity.

    Comparing him to Eli Herring bugs me too. Herring walked away from guaranteed millions as a first round draft pick. Instead he chose one of the least glamorous professions but has the opportunity to literally change the world one student at a time. Rich never made the team because he walked away and is now a salesman for a social media company. Not the most flattering of comparisons for Rich.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Oct. 13, 2012 10:38 a.m.

    Congratulations, Andrew. You have our head on straight. Football isn't the most important thing in the world though some people think it is. I know a man (he's a football coach) who held his own son back in school so he would be bigger for the football team! Talk about screwed up values. I'd far rather my son was a good debater than a good football player even if debate doesn't make you popular with the girls and you don't get your name in the paper. Debate indicates brains; football indicates something else. Stay with your decision, Andrew. You'll never regret it.

  • Wendall Hoop Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 12, 2012 5:20 p.m.

    Dear friends, Andrew was never going to play in the NFL. Each year, teams sign 50+ kids to "free agent" contracts and invite them to try-out. Those same 50 kids don't make it, save a few. He was never going to play in the NFL and acting like he was on that route is pretentious. I can't believe they publish this stuff. As if he decided that his family was more important than NFL. Well of course, I know Erid Weddle feels that way so does John Beck etc. etc. If he was going to make 400k/year and be able to do something he loved it's obvious he would have. He wasn't going to make it and decided to stop the grind and stop pursuing it. He was a nice college player but never NFL caliber. There are TONS Of players better than him in college who don't make it. Let's think about it for a second.

  • morganh Orem, Utah
    Oct. 12, 2012 4:24 p.m.

    Great Article. This reminds me of the story of another BYU Football player who despite being drafted turned down an NFL career to teach high school math. That players name was Eli Herring. Eli said he didn't want to play on Sunday and he was ridiculed for it. There are many LDS athletes who play on Sunday and that is their choice. Andrew Rich walked away from a promising career and Eli Herring walked away and neither of them regret their decision. To those LDS players who play on the Sabbath I respect your decision. To those who chose not to I respect your decision. Your success in life isn't defined by how well you play football, basketball or any other sport. Rather, it is defined by if you can be successful at whatever profession you chose and you enjoy doing it.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Oct. 11, 2012 12:58 p.m.

    @ Chris B.

    Your comments are usually intended to offend BYU fans and the LDS people. I have no idea whey they publish your comments.

  • Utah Alum Orem, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 12:09 p.m.

    Brave Sir Robin

    Normally, I disagree with many of your comments, but in Chris B's case, you're spot on spot on - he's an embarrassment to most Utah fans.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 11:26 a.m.

    Sir Robin,

    You've said plenty of things against byu that are more crass than my relatively simple dig above. Calm down. Save the self righteousness for your sunday school classes.

    Normally I agree with your comments, but you're getting a little holier than thou on this one. Stop acting like a byu fan.

  • Max Charlotte, NC
    Oct. 11, 2012 11:05 a.m.

    Cougar Passion:

    I agree with you completely. It wasn't the right thing for him. I acknowledged and congratulated him for making the right decision. It is great that he doesn't look back and regret it (further evidence that it was the right decision)

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Oct. 11, 2012 10:54 a.m.

    Wise decision from Andrew Rich. With all the injury data now starting to come out, he probably added decades to his life by not playing in the NFL. Not that I begrudge anyone the chance to play in the NFL, but you have to know it's basically a death sentence.

    Chris B, normally at this point I would chastise you about making us Utah fans look bad, but then I decided to save my breath because I know you'll be back at it tomorrow regardless of what I say.

  • CT98 Saint George, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 10:36 a.m.

    I believe Rich wasn't getting quite the acknowledgement he expected in the NFL and that played a big part in his decision. I realize the article mentions some praise he received but I sense he needed more in his situation.

    I wonder if Austin Collie will read this. I really like watching Austin play (he had such a great rookie season) but I'm concerned it is taking a heavy toll on his physical health.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 10:18 a.m.

    Chris B. seems to glory in taking the low road. Society should hope it is not typical of all ute fans. Andrew Rich is at the other end of the character spectrum and it would be expected that Chris not understand.

  • The Final Word Alpine, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 10:14 a.m.

    re: Chris B

    The Utes never stop demonstrating their low class commentary.

    I think you kind of missed the point of the story. He chose not to play in the NFL.

  • Cougar Passion Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 10:08 a.m.

    I don't think that was his point. His point was that it didn't feel right *for him*. It's like the choice to play professional sports--if that choice is available--if it also means playing on Sundays. I have a son who potentially will be good enough to make that choice--and I don't care if anyone laughs, since they don't know me or my son--in another sport, and he doesn't know yet what choice he will make if that is available. We already are dealing with trying to avoid Sunday play while playing for the arguably the best coach around as long as we can before amicably parting ways.

    For my son, if he feels he can have a potential impact as an example to others along the lines of Jabari Parker in basketball, he will probably make the choice to go the professional route. If not, he will probably choose something else.

    And that is the other important things that is so often overlooked by top athletes, and something Jabari gets: You play a sport, but that sport doesn't define you. You must have other aptitudes as well.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Oct. 11, 2012 9:08 a.m.

    "I felt like I was kind of missing the picture," Rich said. "I realized it doesn't matter if I play football. What matters is that I serve my Heavenly Father, and that needs to be the root of every decision."

    Wow. Well said. Root of every decision, indeed.

    Chris B - spoken like a real putz.

  • Max Charlotte, NC
    Oct. 11, 2012 7:19 a.m.

    I have a great deal of respect for this young man. He obviously knows that his family and his service to The Lord are what is most important in life. It is great that he made the right decision and that he has not regretted it. Good for him! However, I would respect him even more than I already do if he had just said something like: "I was just sick to death of football and it was time to move on to something else". Being a good father, husband, and Christian are not mutually exclusive to a career in football. Many fields are very demanding, yet priorities can, and are, maintained by the fine men and women in those fields -- including the many LDS athletes who have made their careers in professional sports.

  • Commenter88 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 10, 2012 11:45 p.m.

    Umm, did anyone else notice that his wife is extremely hot?

  • footballmanic Enterprise, UT
    Oct. 10, 2012 10:26 p.m.

    I had the great pleasure of Coaching Andrew both in football and Basketball in jr high school, he was one of the best athletes I had ever coached and on top of that he is one of the most fine and incredible person I have ever coached. Andrew love you, Coach Jones

  • WHAT NOW? Saint George, UT
    Oct. 10, 2012 9:04 p.m.

    "At BYU, the freshmen came in and I would try to help them learn the position and the defense,; Rich said. (In the NFL) it was dog-eat-dog. Guys didn't openly reject me, but they weren't saying, Hey, let me teach you how to do this. I felt alone out there.".

    I had a 10 year NFL vet explain to me the realities of what Andrew Rich learned first hand.

    At its most raw level, the rookies, especially free-agents, are seen as people who will take a job away from someone who already has a job.

    The vets will give the rookies a bone or two, but that's all.

    There are many NFL teams.

    The story told to me only represents the experience of one player on one team.

    However, the message I received, is probably not unique.

    Best wishes to the Rich Family.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Oct. 10, 2012 8:17 p.m.

    This is one young man who has his head screwed on straight and has his priorities right.
    He is a hero his wife can always look up to.

  • Bastiatarian TUCSON, AZ
    Oct. 10, 2012 8:13 p.m.

    In this day and age, it's deeply refreshing to read about people who have their priorities straight. I'm not saying that other Mormons playing professional sports don't have their priorities straight. The Lord makes the rules, and the Lord makes the exceptions. I'm merely saying that this example of rejecting a long-sought dream and possible fame and fortune because it didn't feel like it was the right choice from a spiritual standpoint can give courage to others who find themselves having to decide between something they want and something that they know is right. Those decisions can be tough, but they can be life-changing decisions, for the better or for the worse.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 10, 2012 7:51 p.m.

    Powerful story! Thanks for sharing.