A few years ago, while in Vegas, a friend of a friend mentioned to me that he thought I could be instrumental in helping pave the way for legalized sports betting in states other than Vegas. He said so because he learned I was working toward my Doctorate of Philosophy in Public Policy Administration with a specialization in law. Now, before I continue, let me say that I was not pursuing my PhD education because I thought I was “all that” and it was not as though I had any desire to be shaping public policy when I first enrolled in the program, I was pursuing this doctorate for other reasons. None of them had to do with shaping public policy, and to be quite honest, I’m not even sure I knew what a Doctorate in Public Policy with a specialization in law [ I don’t know if I’m supposed to capitalize that but if so, please forgive me ] was when I first decided to embark on this journey. You see the reason I was pursing my PhD in this field of study had more to do with what I did not know, than anything to do with what I did.
My educational journey, which would ultimately lead me to study the field of criminal justice at Boston University, and go on to work toward my doctorate happened because I was interested in helping people who were involved in situations where power was being misused. I’ve always had an affinity for an underdog, having grown up without my mother, and figuring things out the hard way. Basically, at the risk of sounding like the perpetual victim, I was often in situations where I was up against a controlling body that would misuse power and I never really had anybody to help me. Some people have parents who are there from day one. Others do not. I was one of those who did not.
When I was eighteen years old, I was on my own, and although I was not homeless per se, I was forced to fend for myself. I had a good job though and one that paid the bills and it was because of this job that I opted to forgo going to college. I will, to this day, remember how my English teacher in 10th grade said I was making a huge mistake by not attending college, but at that time, all that mattered to me was being able to afford my car and my apartment. My job was great and I had no time for college.
My job would soon evolve into a full fledge career and I would eventually find myself sitting in board meetings counseling Fortune 500 companies on how to manage their risk. Admittedly, I felt a bit insecure at times when others would have stellar resumes with Ivy League educations, and I was straight outta high school. Deep down inside I always felt a bit inferior and would wish I had a degree. Keep in mind that I was not longing for an education, but a degree.
I spent several years in an executive position and earned a good salary. My career would ultimately end soon after I was told my son suffered a brain injury and would likely struggle with a learning disability. One thing would lead to another, and eventually I would decide to form a non-profit organization that would work to help educate others about misuse of power. It was my experience in risk management and life that caused me to want to do this.
So what does all of this have to do with pursuit of my PhD and how would I come to find that I am very knowledgeable about the legalities of fantasy sports, especially with regard to how theses games compare to sports betting? Stay tuned — I’ll be right back – sxm