We've heard about college athletes taking time off to focus on academics or even to go on a religious mission, but Brandon Sherrod's reason may be a first.
Sherrod, a 6-foot-6 reserve at Yale who played in all 33 games last year for the Bulldogs, will be leaving the team next season to join the Whiffenpoofs, an a capella group at the school.
But this isn't just any a capella group. The Whiffenpoofs, comprised of 14 male seniors, is the oldest collegiate a capella group in the country. They regularly tour the world, and in 2014-15 the group will be singing on every continent except Antarctica. For Sherrod, who has never been outside the United States, this opportunity was too good to pass up.
"(Forward) Justin Sears, our best player, told me if I didn't go, he'd be upset," Sherrod told the Associated Press. "Hearing things like that makes it easier. I'm fortunate to be at Yale and be able to utilize all the gifts that God has given me."
Making the decision more difficult for Sherrod is the fact that Yale's basketball team is expected to compete for the Ivy League crown in 2014-15. Yale, which hasn't been to the NCAA tournament since 1962, finished last season with a 19-14 mark and in second place in the Ivy League.
Yale doesn't offer athletic scholarships, so Sherrod is not tied down to the team. While coach James Jones was a little disappointed to hear that one of his veterans would not be returning in 2014-15, he can't blame Sherrod for his decision.
"That's one of the things we talk about when we recruit kids is what is available at Yale and the different opportunities they're going to have," Jones told the Associated Press. "Brandon's going to take advantage of one of them, and I understand."
Sherrod will have one year of eligibility left after his stint with the Whiffenpoofs.
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