Bailey Wants Degree

Champ Bailey doesn't have to learn how to make money. He's already made a bunch--and will make a lot more when he signs his next contract. He just wants to make sure he takes care of it. And he also wants to make sure he's prepared for life after football.

Which is why Bailey plans on graduating from Georgia sometime next year. He's 17 credits shy of earning his psychology degree after completing three classes this past semester. Bailey took his final exams last week, which is why he missed the first week of the coaching sessions, and starts summer classes on June 12.

''This was a personal goal of mine,'' the Redskins Pro Bowl cornerback said. ''It makes me feel good that I'm doing it. The degree is always something worth having in case something happens to me.''

Bailey took courses in employment law, psychology of the self and social psychology. And, yes, he related some of what he hears from fellow corner Fred Smoot in the classroom. Smoot's penchant for talking trash all boils down to psychology.

''Trust me, with all the stuff they teach you, you have a lot of stuff to come back with,'' Bailey said.

Bailey had resumed taking classes last offseason. He'd like to have his own business someday and his eyes widened when talking about how much he learned in his employment law class. He also plans on taking a real estate class at some point.

''I want to learn as much as I can about everything I can,'' Bailey said. ''I learned a whole lot about business, how to run a business and racism in business. . . This has got to help me; if I have my own business I'll know how to run it.''

Bailey also said sitting in class again wasn't all that weird, considering he'd taken classes last year. Some students recognize him, but none pester him, he said.

It would be easy for Bailey not to do this. He's already wealthy and his future looks secure. Then again, one freak injury could change all that.

''A lot of people were surprised by what I'm doing and questioned it,'' Bailey said. ''But it's my choice and I feel good about it so that's all that matters.''


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