NJ Schools Failed Kurt Pellegrino


Kurt Pellegrino. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

If Kurt Pellegrino loses to Thiago Tavares next weekend at UFC 88, he could easily find himself out of the organization due to the UFC’s new policy where fighters with consecutive losses can easily be given the shaft. The sad thing is that if he can’t find employment elsewhere in the fighting world, he could be in deep trouble.

From Steve Cofield‘s latest blog post for Yahoo! Sports:

Pellegrino is opening a new Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school in Belmar, N.J. But if his fight career ends anytime soon and his business fails, Pellegrino doesn’t know how he and his family would survive. He can barely read and write, and said his math skills are at a third grade level. He’s a product of the wonderful school system in Point Pleasant, N.J. where he was moved along and allowed to graduate because he was a phenomenomal athlete (two-time runner-up in the N.J. state high school wrestling championships).

“I made it one semester in college and then failed out. I had my professor tell me that he could give me an A but that he wasn’t really helping me by doing that. I wanted to teach special ed kids like myself down the road but that wouldn’t happen if I didn’t learn how to read and write so I told him to fail me.”

Even though it’s not surprising that this kind of stuff is going on in schools across the United States, it’s a bit surprising to me since New Jersey schools are regularly awarded for the quality of their education. (I live in the Philadelphia area and hear it all the time) It just goes to show that teachers and schools giving their top athletes a free pass is the wrong thing to do.

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