Wednesday, June 30, 2010

NFL Rookie Symposium

By Oumar Ganame (SMBA '11)

This week I had the opportunity to attend the NFL Rookie Symposium at the La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, CA. The Symposium has been conducted every year since its inception in 1997 and teaches incoming NFL players how to handle their new profession on and off the field. It also outlines the NFL’s player programs initiatives, which are divided into four areas: Continuing Education, Financial Education, Career Development, and Player Assistance Services.

With current players continuing to find themselves in legal trouble, the message to the rookies was very clear: Don’t be that guy. Players were educated on their new role in society and encouraged to examine the effects of their choices, decisions, and consequences. They were encouraged to anticipate any conflicts that may arise and to keep from putting themselves in compromising situations. The rookies also heard from former NFL players Marcellus Wiley and Akbar Gbaja-Biamila about the pitfalls of gun ownership.

Stephen Price (SMBA '10) was on hand representing his new employer, the Minnesota Vikings, as was former classmate La’Roi Glover (SMBA '11) who now has the task of continuing this rookie education in his position as Director of Player Programs for the St. Louis Rams. Sam Bradford and company are in very capable hands, and I am sure that no member of the Rams’ or Vikings’ 2010 classes will end up being that guy.

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