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Monday, September 22, 2008
Thoughts and prayers with Love and Ball State


Posted by ESPN.com's Graham Watson

If you haven't heard by now, Ball State receiver Dante Love will be OK, but will likely never play football again, the university announced Monday in a statement.

On one hand, I'm so happy that he's going to be OK and doctors say he's going to live a perfectly normal life. On the other hand, I'm wrecked over the fact that he can't play football again.

Every once in awhile, I run into a young man who exudes a love and passion for the game by the way he speaks. Love was one of those players. I spoke to him last week and he talked about trying to become a more well-rounded player that both his coaches and teammates could respect.

We all knew that he had big-play ability, but he was devoting this season to showing that he wasn't afraid to do the grunt work. He really was committed to making himself a better teammate and a better prospect for the future.

Love would have played in the NFL. There's no doubt. And this makes me very sad, probably more so because I just talked to him and he was full of so much enthusiasm for this season.

These are the perils of the game we all love and the pitfalls of my dealing with so many of these guys on a one-on-one basis. Injuries are part of the game. We all know that. But some seem more unfair than others.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Love, his family and the entire Ball State community.