NFL Players Enroll in Special Business Programs

<P>Football doesn't last forever, and NFL players understand that. With players options limited for those who never finished school, the league has instituted a program to try to help them. To help them make better decision, during their playing days as well as after.'s Doug Farrar takes a look at the players and the program including three current New England Patriots.</P>

NFL Players Enroll in Special Business Programs
By Doug Farrar

The National Football League and NFL Players Association worked with the business schools to create the curriculums. Cornerback Bobby Taylor will be the lone representative of the Seahawks. Taylor, a former Philadelphia Eagle, will participate in the University of Pennsylvania program

The programs that run from April 6-8 are part of an ongoing NFL- NFLPA initiative to assist players in preparing for their post-playing careers. Tuition will be covered by the NFL’s Tuition Reimbursement Program. Veteran players may be reimbursed up to $15,000 per league year for education expenses at an accredited institution of higher learning.

In addition to Brees, Green and Dawkins, all of whom will be participating in the workshop at the Wharton School, Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Dhani Jones, wide receiver Freddie Mitchell, and Kansas City Chiefs fullback Tony Richardson are among the players enrolled in the Harvard Business School workshop.

Three members of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots will also take part. Defensive back Je'Rod Cherry and linebacker Ted Johnson will participate in the workshop at Harvard Business School. Tight end Christian Fauria is enrolled in the Wharton School program.

As part of its custom executive education activities, Harvard Business School has developed a customized workshop targeted to the needs of NFL players interested in owning, operating or building their own businesses. The Wharton Sports Business Initiative and Wharton Executive Education have collaborated to develop a combination classroom and field-based workshop. It focuses on personal investments as well as entrepreneurial opportunities for players transitioning from their football careers. Both three-day programs run from April 6-8. The Harvard program concludes with an additional three-day session in May. The Wharton program offers follow-up with a year-long support program.

"This is one of many important steps that the union is taking to assist NFL players in their lives off the playing field," said Buffalo Bills cornerback Troy Vincent, who is president of the NFL Players Association and will be participating in the program at the Wharton School.

"I know first hand how challenging it is to begin that second career. We are delighted that we are able to provide this additional assistance to players," added NFL Vice President of Player and Employee Development Mike Haynes, a Pro Football Hall of Famer who took executive education classes during his playing career.

Career development after football has become an increasing concern of the NFLPA in the last few years - gone are the days when players like Haynes had to further their educations on their own. In an AP story last year, Vincent pointed to the alarming number of ex-players who call the NFL offices on a regular basis looking for jobs, and there are far too many unfortunate stories of former stars who have fallen on hard times.

Following are the NFL players enrolled in the workshop at the Harvard Business School (most recent team listed in parenthesis if player is a free agent):


PlayerTeam PlayerTeam
DB Jason BellHouston LB Ted JohnsonNew England
dB Jack BrewerNY Giants DE Lance JohnstoneMinnesota
T Ray BrownWashington LB Dhani JonesPhiladelphia
G Ruben BrownChicago TE Dustin LymanChicago
dB Je'Rod Cherry(New England) LB Mike MaslowskiKansas City
QB Todd CollinsKansas City WR Freddie MitchellPhiladelphia
RB Greg Comella(Tampa Bay) LB Ryan NeceTampa Bay
LB Sam CowartMinnesota P Kyle RichardsonCleveland
DE Jerry DeLoachHouston RB Tony RichardsonKansas City
WR Damon DunnRetired (Jax, Cle, Dal, NYJ) DB Dainon SidneyDetroit
DE Demetric EvansWashington DB Jason SimmonsHouston
TE Kendall GammonKansas City DB Pat TerrellRetired (Car., GB, NYJ, Rams)
DE Kabeer Gbaja-BiamilaGreen Bay  LB Kailee WongHouston
LB Barrett GreenNY Giants DE Renaldo WynnWashington
C Justin HartwigTennessee   
C Kevin HouserNew Orleans   

Following are the NFL players enrolled in the workshop at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (most recent team listed in parenthesis if player is a free agent):

PlayerTeam PlayerTeam
T Willie AndersonCincinnati DE N.D. KaluPhiladelphia
LB Micheal BarrowWashington QB Danny KanellDenver
QB Drew BreesSan Diego LB Jason KyleCarolina
K Doug BrienNY Jets DT Steve MartinMinnesota
TE Mark BruenerHouston DT Alvin McKinleyCleveland
T Javiar CollinsCleveland G Brandon MooreNew York Jets
RB Casey CramerCarolina  LB Jim Nelson(Indianapolis)
DB Brian DawkinsPhiladelphia LB Hardy NickersonRetired (Pit., TB, Jax., GB)
TE Darnell DinkinsBaltimore DB Brian Russell(Minnesota)
TE Christian FauriaNew England RB Rod SmartCarolina
DE Akbar Gbaja-BiamilaOakland LB Takeo SpikesBuffalo
RB Ahman GreenGreen Bay TE Brad St. LouisCincinnati
DB Robert GriffithArizona DB Bobby TaylorSeattle
DB William HamptonCarolina LB David Thornton(Indianapolis)
TE Ben HartsockIndianapolis DB Troy VincentBuffalo
DB Terrence HoltDetroit DB Dewayne Washington(Jacksonville)
RB Terry JacksonSan Francisco TE Roland WilliamsSt. Louis
T Matt JoyceDetroit DB Jimmy Wyrick(Miami)


If you are reading this article via a news portal, you can find the original on

Talk about all the latest happenings with the team on the Patriots Insider Forums,


Patriots Insider Top Stories