Ex-Alabama player makes good on promise to Bear Bryant

A promise is a promise, just ask former Alabama and New York Jets defensive lineman Marty Lyons.

Lyons told Bear Bryant he would get his degree one day after leaving the University of Alabama. And now, the New York Daily News reports, 41 years after starting college and 37 after leaving Tuscaloosa, Lyons will receive his diploma on Dec. 10.

“They say college is the best four years of your life,” Lyons told the paper. “I did it 10 times over. I had fun the whole way.”

Lyons left Tuscaloosa for the Big Apple 24 credits short of graduating. As he left school, the legendary coach asked his All-American defensive lineman to promise him he would get his degree.

Lyons is a member of the Jets’ radio broadcast team. He also runs the Marty Lyons Foundation. Work and life got in the way of getting the degree but a couple years ago, counselors at Alabama and Lyons got together on a program that allowed him to take online courses.

The result will be the walk on Dec. 10. The Lyons family is Tide all the way through. He has one daughter who has graduated from Alabama and a son who is currently in school.

TUSCALOOSA, AL - CIRCA 1958-1982: Paul Bryant, head coach of the University of Alabama Crimson Tide football team observes the play during a game at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Alabama) (Photo by University of Alabama/Collegiate Images/Getty Images)

Lyons felt he had to keep his promise to Bryant, who died in 1983.

“He was the only one who could hold me accountable for that promise,” Lyons said.

Roll Tide.