Jeremiah Masoli - Sports IllustratedIn March 2010, I wrote a post entitled Stupid Decisions Lead to Career Change. Jeremiah Masoli was highlighted in the post; he was kicked off the Oregon football team after he decided burglary was a good call to make.

Well, Masoli got a second chance through a roundabout way and what some say is a loophole in the NCAA rules. The NCAA initially ruled he had to sit out a year to be eligible to play at Ole Miss. Last week, they reversed themselves, so now he can play.

I’ll leave it to the rule experts and others to debate the pros and cons of the ruling. The bottom line is since he enrolled in an Ole Miss graduate program, he is eligible to play this year.

According to Ole Miss Coach Houston Nutt, Masoli will be under the “highest scrutiny.” He went on to state:

“The rules are going to be different for him. I told him I have zero tolerance. I have a hairtrigger. I know he knows I will pull the trigger so fast.”

We will watch closely to ensure Coach Nutt keeps his word.

So, congratulations to Jeremiah Masoli. I mean it. It is infrequent in which people get a second chance, especially in a leadership role. Being a quarterback for another leading university is an opportunity few would get. The simple advice is – don’t blow it.

A few key things for Masoli to keep in mind as he enters his second chance opportunity.

  • Review. Before making a decision, just stop and review. Is it a decision you will be proud to read about in the newspapers? You experienced already the other side of this, so learn the lesson and think about it. This is true in both snap and longer-term decisions. Take a deep breath, pause, and review.
  • Engage. Be active in your decisions. Do not passively go along just to go along. Stand up and challenge the questionable decisions. Engage in the decision-making process. Ask questions which will facilitate a better decision. Stop, listen, and engage.
  • Decide. On the field, you made many decisions as a quarterback. At Oregon, your on-the-field play seemed to do you well. Your off-the-field decision-making did not equal the same standard. Set a high standard for yourself on and off the field. Make decisions which will make your team, family, and friends proud. Decide by listening to your conscience and by always doing the right thing in all that you do.

Second chances are sometimes an unexpected yet welcomed opportunity.

Second chances set a high standard of expectation by all, and living up to the standard is essential.

Review-Engage-Decide is a simple model to facilitate a better decision-making process and to instill better leadership qualities. We wish you well in your second chance, Jeremiah Masoli.

What do you think about second chances in life?