No athlete wants to be known as "all talk," and no one can hang that label on college football stars Wesley Britt and David Pollack.
Both players, saying they want their deeds to match their words, turned down spots this summer on the Playboy preseason All-America football team. Both are Christians who often speak to church groups and didn't want inclusion on the Playboy team to confuse their audiences.
"When you talk to somebody about living their lives the right way and abstaining from sex until marriage, posing in Playboy would send the wrong message," said Mr. Pollack, a University of Georgia defensive end and the 2002 Southeastern Conference player of the year. "My father and coaches have always taught me to lead by example," added Mr. Britt, a University of Alabama offensive tackle. "I don't think that's the example I'd want to be setting."
Once an unusual occurrence, the snubbing of Playboy is becoming increasingly frequent. Mr. Britt and Mr. Pollack's stand this year marks the fourth straight year that at least one All American has questioned the honor of accepting honors from Playboy. Last year, Oklahoma's Tommie Harris turned down the offer, saying that Playboy degrades women. In 2001, Oklahoma's Rocky Calmus and Virginia Tech's Andre Davis rejected Playboy's advances, as did Minnesota's Ben Hamilton in 2000. Mr. Hamilton was the first player to turn down Playboy since 1996.