DURHAM, N.C. — Thanks, but no thanks, NCAA.
“Duke owes me nothing,” former Duke Blue Devils running back Desmond Scott said.
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Hip-hop and junk talk from Scott were fueling Saturday-morning workouts at his 11,000 square- foot facility on a main drag here connecting the Bull City to Blue Heaven — where Tar Heels dwell at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
On Oct. 20, 2012, the last time Scott knocked heads with the Tar Heels, his three receptions for 38 yards helped the Blue Devils move the ball toward a 33-30 win that secured Duke’s first bowl appearance since 1994.
In four seasons, Duke used Scott to the tune of 3,615 all-purpose yards, which ranks ninth in school history. He left the backfield during his senior season, became a wide receiver, and the guy basically averaged a first down every time he caught the football — 66 receptions for 666 yards.
After Duke, Scott was done with football. No NFL.
“I didn’t want to [go pro],” Scott said. “Football was never the out for me.”
Scott sure enough could play, now, and he was not joking earlier this year when claiming that he could make an NFL roster right now. It’s just that his girlfriend won’t let him tryout, he said. This is a guy who is training guys with eyes on making it in the NFL, and Scott insisted that he’s quicker and stronger than all of them. Scott’s body certainly matches his bravado.
One of Scott’s clients is Washington Redskins wide receiver Jamison Crowder. They played together at Duke. Scott at least is humble enough to admit that Crowder is faster than he is.
“Faster and quicker is a very sensitive topic,” Scott quipped.
Sky Rusciano is a nurse in Durham. She trains with Scott at his Prime Athletic Training & Fitness Institute.
“It’s a workout unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I’ve never trained as an athlete, and that’s what I feel like I am now — an athlete,” Rusciano said. “I just want to be lean and strong, and that’s definitely what you get here.
“You can tell [with] his training and everything that he is, he brings here every day.”
What Scott is goes back to what he was after he finished playing ball at Duke. He was a schoolteacher, taught health and physical education. And, well, he basically still is a P.E teacher.
“I’m a teacher of the masses,” Scott said.
NFL players make more money than P.E. teachers. Yet Scott, who is in the perspiration business, isn’t sweating that.
“I played football because it was fun, and I was good at it,” said Scott, 27. “But I always wanted to do something else.”
Duke benefitted from Scott’s body, but he’ll tell you that the relationship — which included a debt-free Duke degree — was reciprocal. He said his association with Duke has provided credibility during his four years as a business owner.
It’s bartering. It’s business.
“There’s no need to be bitter. There’s’ no need to be stressed,” Scott said. “In order to get to the top of a mountain, you have to have jagged rocks and edges and ledges to climb onto, and Duke was just that — a stepping stone to get where I am now and to continue to propel me forward to where I want to be in the next years.”
John McCann -Urban Media Today Sports
Follow John on Twitter: @Johntmccann