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Shaquille O’Neal to get doctorate in education this weekend

May 2, 2012, 2:04 PM EDT

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It’s fun to clown on Shaquille O’Neal, whether it be for his nomadic career or “Kazaam” or his performance this season on Inside the NBA on TNT. It’s a target rich environment.

But Shaq deserves some praise for this — he has continued his education through his playing days up to now and this Saturday will receive his doctorate in education from Miami Shores university. The Sun Sentinel has the details (via Inside Hoops).

For 4 1/2 years, the former Miami Heat center took 16 courses, completed 54 credit hours and carried a grade point average of 3.813, according to the university. The 40-year-old’s exact degree is in Organizational Learning and Leadership, with a specialization in human resource development.

“He was a good student,” said Dr. David M. Kopp, chairman of the university’s Organizational Learning and Leadership program. “He is very intellectually curious. He is like a sponge, he takes everything in.”

Shaq being Shaq, he had things come to him a little. Literally. He had professors fly out for some one-on-one classes as well as doing a lot of video conferencing.

But the fact is he got the degree. He may never use it, but he is far from the first person to get a degree then do something else. Good for him, getting it done. It is something to be very proud of.

  1. franchiseplaya - May 2, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    Obviously none of his exams were oral, how would anyone understand his incomprehensible mumbling?

  2. toegoat - May 2, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Dr. Shaq!

  3. seanb20124 - May 2, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    Sounds like a diploma mill

    • hwatt - May 2, 2012 at 3:13 PM

      Excuse me?? Really basic link clicking and google searching reveals Barry University as an 80-year-old institution producing people earning very high salaries. This isn’t some online paper mill school that came out of nowhere

      • nokoolaidcowboy - May 3, 2012 at 5:37 AM

        Yeah, but these institutions make a mockery of degrees when they are giving them away because of ones celebrity. What’s next, after her next movie Lindsay Lohan gets a Doctorate in Theater Arts?

  4. thestudiokida - May 2, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    That the department chair used a cliche to describe Shaq tells me that A) He did nothing special to earn this degree and B) That particular department of that particular college is a joke and will not be accredited for much longer.

  5. hwatt - May 2, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    wow, an entertaining pro athlete earning a PhD brings out all types of prejudices in some commenters.

    Anyway, great job Shaq! In his book he talks about how seriously he takes his education. He got his MBA years ago so he could better understand all his business ventures and not let other prejudiced clowns take his money and run. He probably sees a value to this PhD to something he’s got cookin, he just doesn’t see a need to inform the blogging public about what it’s for just yet.

  6. thebigcaptain2011 - May 2, 2012 at 4:23 PM


  7. rajbais - May 2, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    He got it from Barry University in South Florida!!!

    Barry = Univ. of Phoenix or a real school???

  8. fnc111 - May 2, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    He got it from Miami Shores Univ not Barry U. Barry is a great D2 school.

  9. AlohaMrHand - May 2, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    As long as that goof isn’t allowed to prescribe medicine…….

  10. quizguy66 - May 2, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    Hope he uses that degree as he buys an NBA team, brings it New Jersey, and builds a winning organization!


  11. fmlizard - May 2, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    Sure, it might not be Ivy League, but he certainly had to put in a lot of work. Work and personal development that he frankly didn’t have to do. Good for him continuing to expand his mind and skills outside of basketball.

  12. canehouse - May 2, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    Excellent job! Indeed something to be very proud of.

  13. longhornpride05 - May 2, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    how can anyone here bash where he got the degree? I’m sorry but do YOU have a doctorate from anywhere? especially if you’re going to bash the university basically saying its a joke. if its so easy why don’t you go there and pull a 3.81 for your doctorate. anyway congratulations to Shaq education has always been important to him which is nice to see among pro-athletes

  14. 700levelvet - May 3, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    I don’t understand how anyone would bash Shaq…..Although i was never a fan of any team he played on, he’s a good guy…The kind of guy you would sit at the bar with and have a beer, kind of like the uncle everyone has, who just enjoys himself… he never embarrassed himself, or the league, yeah he’s a class clown, but that’s just his personality, i really could care less if he gets a degree or not. But to act as if he actually needed to do this, online school etc… to pay the mortgage or eat is laughable..Does it really matter?…He made more in one year then if the total combo of commentators here reached 500 would make……I doubt he has any student loans, and their isn’t a MAN alive, who doesn’t wish he had his life……….

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