NFL rookies to learn lessons at upcoming symposium
BY BARRY WILNER Associated Press
Sunday, June 24, 2012
6/24/12 at 4:59 AM
Troy Vincent wants to make it absolutely clear that the upcoming NFL rookie symposium is not the beginning of the players' journey into the pros.
That trip began years ago.
"This is not something that starts when you become a professional," said Vincent, the league's vice president of player engagement and a five-time Pro Bowler. "There are elements that surround an athlete in his development, from youth sports through high school and college. It's a lifestyle.
"Parents are a key. What do they do with their youngsters who are playing sports as far as their mental health, their safety in the sport? Are we doing enough to encourage balancing their lives for those in athletics?
"Parents have questions, and rightfully so. And we should answer them, dispel the myths."
The symposium helps do that. This is the 15th year the league has brought together draftees to hear speakers on such subjects as "Are You Bigger Than The Game" and "What Defines Success?" This gathering, which is a bit different because of the location in Aurora, Ohio, with a side trip to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in nearby Canton, begins Sunday with four days of orientation for NFC draft picks. The AFC choices attend from Wednesday through next Saturday.
Scheduled to speak are several players who have experienced serious off-field issues, including Michael Vick, Adam Jones and Michael Irvin.
"Each rookie should leave the symposium with the knowledge and history of where our game began, where it is today, and challenged to make a positive personal impact on the future of our game," added Vincent, a former president of the players' union.
Original Print Headline: NFL rookies to get lessons