When NFL Hall of Fame Player Jerome Bettis entered the professional football draft in 1993, he had not completed his senior year at the University of Notre Dame. After getting drafted by the St. Louis Rams that year, it would have been easy for the running back to leave his college days behind in favor of a dazzling career.
But, Bettis made an important promise to his mother when he decided to leave Notre Dame.
“I promised her years ago, sitting in Coach Holtz’s office, that I would come back and graduate,” Bettis said on the Pot of God Podcast last month, according to SteelersWire USAToday. “So, I owe that to her as well.”
On May 15, Bettis kept his 28-year-old promise to his mom and became a graduate of the University of Notre Dame.
“A promise made, a promise kept,” he wrote on Twitter. “28 after leaving @NotreDame, I’ve completed my degree from the Mendoza School of Business. I hope my journey serves as [a] reminder that education is the true equalizer in life and it is never too late to start.”
A promise made, a promise kept. 28 years after leaving @NotreDame, I’ve completed my degree from the Mendoza School of Business. I hope my journey serves as reminder that education is the true equalizer in life and it is never too late to start. pic.twitter.com/J0Xn7Up47n
— Jerome Bettis (@JeromeBettis36) May 12, 2022
Bettis first shared the news of his re-enrollment at Notre Dame back in January. It wasn’t an easy transition to return to college, as a senior nearly three decades after leaving to play in the NFL.
“It’s so strange,” he told NBC’s “Today” back in January. “Because I’m so behind the times. I mean, I’m a dinosaur in the sense of school. I don’t know where anything is. I’m struggling with the technology.”
Despite the challenges, Bettis applied the commitment and tenacity he showed in his illustrious football career to meet his educational goals, which were not only to get his degree for himself and his mom but also to be an example for his two children.
I have been waiting 28 years to celebrate this moment. I am so proud to be a graduate of the University of @NotreDame class of 2022!! pic.twitter.com/VjfleJ40Ia
— Jerome Bettis (@JeromeBettis36) May 16, 2022
“In my immediate family, I’ll be the first person to graduate from college,” Bettis told “Today.” “But most importantly, I have two children. For them to see dad finish a commitment that he set out some 27 years ago, for me to complete that, I think it says a lot to them.”
Congratulations to “The Bus” for pushing through and scoring his college degree!