Dodging puddles in an unpaved parking lot on a rainy June afternoon, Jake Herbert attempted to put his career dilemma in the simplest terms possible.
Not an easy task, considering the gravity of the choices that lay in front of the 28-year-old Olympian and two-time NCAA freestyle wrestling national champ.
On one hand, there are the 2016 Games to think about. On the other, there's the potential to make a lot more money beating up other men in a cage as a professional MMA fighter. And behind door number three?
"That's the thing," Herbert said and cocked his head with a shy smile. "I actually studied at Northwestern."
This is the problem Herbert faces, though it's a good problem, all things considered. The time is coming where he is going to have to choose a path. The choice he makes could say a lot about MMA's ability to appeal to qualified outsiders, and also about wrestling's enduring hold even at a time of turmoil on the international scene. At the heart of that choice is a question that's interested me for a long time, as someone who writes about and loves this sport, yet sometimes can't understand what compels certain people to do it...