Share This Page

NFL is starting a career transition program

NEW YORK — When life in the fast lane ends for NFL players, they're not always sure which direction to head.

The NFL and an organization created to help retired players move into the work force are offering some help.

They are combining on a career transition program that begins next month. A four-day course from June 7-10 at Georgia Tech will launch the program designed to help former players make the transition from football to the business world. The league will pay for tuition and accommodations.

Participating players will learn about personal finance; launching a new career with realistic expectations; developing a personal brand; communication skills; and the importance of health and well being.

Interested retired players must submit an application along with an essay about their goals for the program. The league hopes to accommodate 45 former players per session.

"The career transition program offers us an opportunity to broaden our relationship with the NFL to provide more services to players as they transition into their post-playing careers," NFL Alumni president George Martin said Wednesday.

One player enrolled in the first session is Thomas Tapeh, a former Vikings and Eagles fullback.

"I'm looking forward to learning new things and meeting new people to help in my transition from the game," he said. "Once football is over, life goes on."

It doesn't always go on so smoothly for pro athletes once they leave the game. As Martin points out, he had a wife and four children to take care of when he left the New York Giants.

So any programs that educate former players as they enter "real life" are valuable tools.

"This is absolutely essential," said Martin, who spent 14 years in the NFL, retiring in 1988 with one Super Bowl ring. "Look at the fact there is a high attrition rate for players when they go from the role of professional athletes to the real world. They have a tough time adjusting.

"Aspects of this will address every player, although we recognize there are athletes who have a career path already determined ... For them, this might not be applicable.

"But we hope it has far-reaching implications across a broad spectrum of athletes' needs and concerns. We want to destigmatize the transition."

The NFLPA added its support of the program Wednesday.

"Anything we can do to assist our retired players with their transition into the business world is a positive for everyone involved," union spokesman Carl Francis said.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.