By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
June 28, 2013
Has last weekend’s NFL’s annual rookie symposium ever come at a more critical time for the league and its brand? Twenty-nine NFL players have been arrested since the Super Bowl, including, most notoriously Aaron Hernandez for murder. The NFL Rookie Symposium, now in its 16th year, is an orientation for all drafted rookies designed to educate them about transitioning from college to the professional level, based on the four principles of NFL History, Total Wellness, Experience and Professionalism.
Dr. Richard Chaifetz, founder of ComPsych Corporation is an expert on behavioral issues in the workplace and a passionate sports fan. According to him, the problem is that elite athletes are coddled their whole lives. Said Chaifetz, “They become adults real fast when they become professionals and they’re responsible for their own behavior. It’s a very difficult adjustment.” Which makes the Symposium all the more important. A 2012 Sports Illustrated study that found an astonishing 78% of NFL players declared bankruptcy within five years of leaving the league.