Troy Aikman comes back. Jrue Holiday leaves.

An urban Cowboy makes a glorious return, while a top blue chip recruit hit the eject button to take the ultimate Holiday.

Hitting that eject button was Jrue Holiday. You know, that young kid who played but a few games inside Pauley Pavilion? That top recruit who just arrived to Westwood last September? Yeah, him – he’s already gone. One and done, as the kids say nowadays.

OK, Troy Aikman hit the eject button himself back in 1989, when he bypassed completing his degree at UCLA for the greener pastures of the National Football League. Greener those pastures were, as Aikman won three Super Bowls as the starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. But, Aikman was no one-and-done in college.

Then again, who needs a college degree when one can earn millions of dollars and dozens of accolades – all for throwing an oblong-shaped ball several feet forward? Certainly, that is what Holiday is thinking, except he bounces a rounded leather ball on a wooden floor. Oh, what would John Wooden say if he were still coaching?

After leaving UCLA, all Aikman ever did was toss around that thing we call a pigskin – and he did it well. A retrospective of his professional career, in addition to his Super Bowl victories, includes a Super Bowl MVP award, six Pro Bowl selections and one All-Pro selection. Aikman was also named the Walter Payton Man of the Year in 1997, was a Davey O’Brien Award recipient in 1988 and was inducted into the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

After retiring in 2000 with a storied football career in his back pocket, Aikman pursued a career in broadcasting while also developing several business ventures. Now one of the most respected athletes in all American sport, Aikman even owns a professional motor racing team and a minority interest in the San Diego Padres. All this accomplished without a college degree.

Holiday is probably convinced similar fortune is awaiting him as he departs UCLA for the greener pastures of the National Basketball Association. The question is necessarily begged: Other than attending the same college, what makes Holiday think he has anything in common with Aikman?

An amateur career that started at Oklahoma in 1984 before transferring to UCLA in 1986, Aikman spent five years in college. Ironically, he left Oklahoma to make way for Jamelle Holieway – note the name similarity to Jrue Holiday.

In two full years at UCLA, Aikman led the Bruins to two bowl championships, defeating Florida in the 1987 Aloha Bowl, then Arkansas in the 1989 Cotton Bowl. The consensus All-American had a record of 20-4, finished as the school’s second-best passer of all-time and was the first ever Bruin to win the Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s best quarterback.

In his five-month collegiate basketball career, Holiday finished with per-game averages of 8.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists on 45 percent shooting. He completed his career with no accolades, no awards, no achievements, no post-season success. Yet, on Monday, Holiday officially passed the point of no return, officially declaring for the NBA Draft.

Scouts writing for ESPN predict Holiday will be among the top 15 selections of next week’s NBA Draft. While Holiday hopes to cash in his short-lived collegiate career, he should not expect to have an Aikman-like career. Perhaps he should be focusing on avoiding a Holieway-type fate – his professional career never really took off.

Oh, Aikman officially earned his degree in Sociology from UCLA on Saturday, 20 years after he left Westwood. I wonder if Holiday will do the same in 2029. Of course, by then, will anyone remember him?