HomeSportsFormer NFL Running Back Jerome Bettis Returns to Notre Dame, Earns Degree

Former NFL Running Back Jerome Bettis Returns to Notre Dame, Earns Degree

by Tyler Mansfield
(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

If a college football player who has yet to finish their undergraduate degree decides to head to the NFL, they hardly ever return to school. You just don’t see it that much. If they’re in the NFL and making big-time money, why do they need a college degree? I’m not sure I would go back to school if I were a millionaire from playing professional football.

But that’s where Jerome Bettis and I are different. A former standout running back at Notre Dame who went on to put together a successful NFL career, Bettis made the wise choice and fulfilled a promise he made to himself. He actually returned to Notre Dame and completed his business degree from the school’s Mendoza School of Business – three decades after he left for the NFL.

Bettis, now 50, spent 13 seasons in the NFL – primarily with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The No. 10 overall pick by the Los Angeles Rams in the first round of the 1993 NFL Draft, Bettis became a star at the pro level and landed in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015. Nicknamed “The Bus”, Bettis retired in 2006 after helping the Steelers win Super Bowl XL.

Bettis Was a One of a Kind Running Back

Jerome Bettis was a nightmare for opposing defenses – and that’s saying the least. A 5-foot-11, 255-pound running back, his power was unmatched, and that’s why he was able to rush for 13,662 yards and 91 touchdowns over his 13 NFL seasons.

Bettis was a star at Notre Dame, too. Over his three years with the Fighting Irish, Bettis tallied 2,341 all-purpose yards to go along with 37 touchdowns. Just imagine if he had played one more season in South Bend.

While his football accomplishments are amazing, what’s even more special is the fact he now has a college degree. Well done, Jerome.