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    The Transition: Life Beyond the Sport

     

    By Aaron Tyson

     

    The transition from an elite athletic figure to one's life beyond sports can present its challenges.

    Many are welcomed into professional athletics with open arms and a traveling fan base that can be traced back as far as sixth-grade. The drafted players are instantly identified as icons and hometown heroes — or better yet celebrities in today’s digital world. Even those who are undrafted are celebrated, having reached a level of playing competition that only a small percentage of collegiate athletes are able to achieve.

     

    According to the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), out of the 480,000 participating collegiate athletes, only a select few have the opportunity to play professionally:

     

    ●      Men’s Basketball- 1.1%

    ●      Women’s Basketball- 0.9%

    ●      Football- 1.5%

    ●      Men’s Ice Hockey- 5.6%

    ●      Men’s Soccer- 1.4%

     

    Although the transition from college to the pros is seemingly different (athletes are paid), they also share common themes.

     

    Beyond the Sport

     

    There is a firm need for guidance and effective educational resources to prepare athletes for life after sports. Those who are aware of the potential struggles, whether it is a collegiate or professional athlete, usually have the ability to adapt and have a smoother transition away from the game. For many, sports has served as a career for the majority of their lives, not leaving much allotted time for a ‘real job’ to build a professional resume.

     

    Student-Athletes

     

    The onerous commitment student-athletes make to their respected programs is essentially a full-time job within itself. The rigorous schedule of a Division 1 basketball program looks something like this during the week:

     

    Monday

     

    6am - 7am- Workout/treatment

    7:15am- 8am - Eat (some go back to sleep before class)

    8am - 11am- Classes

    11:15am - 2pm- Lunch, individual film sessions

    2:30pm - 4:30pm- Practice

    4:45pm - 5:45pm- Dinner

    6pm- Team Meeting/Team Film

    7pm- Study hall

     

    Schedules vary depending on the program, but this is a general structure of what the average day is like for a Division 1 athlete.

     

    As you can see, there is very little, if any, room to focus on building their resume to prepare for life after sports—especially for those who aren’t called to compete professionally. The NCAA has rules in place to govern outside employment and internships for athletes, prohibiting any potential career building opportunities during the season. However, athletes are allowed to work in the summer, but must get permission from the school and the NCAA first. Once approved, the student-athlete and their employer are required to fill out paperwork verifying that the student-athlete is actually working.

     

    Although, most collegiate athletic departments have Life Skills Departments in place to provide resources to prepare student-athletes for post-graduation, very few are unable to take full advantage of the resources and opportunities it provides due to their demanding schedules.

     

    This is where the post-career athlete employment gap begins.

     

    Professional Athletes

    Professional athletes, as stated before, are viewed as icons and celebrities to their fans. Financially rewarded with enough cash where life after sports isn’t even contemplated. The underlying reality is how long will all this last?

     

    On average, the National Football League loses about 450 players each year, due to injury, waived, cut, released, retirement, etc. On top of that, the average lifespan for an NFL player is 3-4 years.

     

    Many of those athletes stem from those large Division 1 football factories that produce NFL talent; under the same rigorous schedule that left little to know time for professional development. When careers are ended sooner than expected, those young men, who entered the NFL, are now grown men with families and children to provide for. Professional work experience is at a minimum and ‘Professional Athlete’ on their resume is only going to get them but so far with human resources without any relative skills to the position they are applying for.

     

    The NFL offers resources such as the Rookie Transition Program that introduces rookies to the NFL and the available resources to prepare for life after sports. Each club has a Player Engagement Director that is responsible for guiding current and former players through their off the field involvement and setting them up for post-career opportunities.

     

    Transitioning away from sports can present struggles, but it can be rewarding when properly guided and educated on how to prepare for a successful career away from the game.

     

    To be continued….

     

    About Aaron Tyson

    Aaron Tyson is the founder of VCG Sports. Prior to VCG Sports, he accumulated a diverse background in the sports industry having worked with organizations such as the NFL League Office, New York Giants, Philadlephia Phillies, MEAC Conference Office, and the Philadelphia Soul. He also received an Executive Certification in Sports Philanthropy from George Washington University. 

     

    Twitter: @aarontyson_

     

    About VCG Sports

    VCG Sports focuses on providing high-quality career and business development services for athletes on the collegiate and professional level, as well as highligting their achievements and involvement outside of their playing careers. We value the importance of personal interaction and take pride in building long-term relationships with the athletes we serve. Our services are cultivated around creating value and preparing athletes for life after sports. 

    Follow VCG Sports on Twitter and Instagram 

     

     

    Our Partners

    Men's Grooming Products 

    About MillenHeirs

    Millenheirs is an eclectic lifestyle brand whereby we currently create and sell handmade all-natural masculine-of-center grooming products, handcrafted jewelry and accessories, as well as aromatherapy items. Our line is stylishly centered around metaphysical tools, self-care, and holistic well-being.

     Www.millenheirs.com 

    MILLENHEIRS (@millen_heirs) • Instagram photos and videos

     

    States Developmental Football League

    About S.D.F.L.

    The States Developmental Football League is one of many developmental leagues participating in America's most popular sport today. We are comprised of 8 franchises that compete each year to win the SDFL BOWL, one of two of our largest annual sporting events. Founded in 2012, the SDFL developed the model for the successful developmental sports league, including extensive profit sharing, a business and financial curriculum, generational wealth building programs, competitive excellence, and strong franchises across the board. Headquartered in Houston Texas, the SDFL by 2020 will expand across the US with 20 teams.

    www.officialsdfl.net

    Follow S.D.F.L. on Twitter and Instagram

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Jeremy Stewart Looks to Succeed in the Business World with Wharton School MBA As He Did in the NFL

    Written by: Aaron Randolph

    Images: Jeremy Stewart

     

    Former NFL running back Jeremy Stewart has taken his talents from the football field to the classroom.  Stewart played in the National Football League for four years and is now enrolled as a full-time graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business majoring in Finance.

     

    Jeremy Stewart exceeded in football at the high school, collegiate, and professional level. Stewart had been playing since he was eight years old. During his high school years at Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Stewart was first team all-state, all-district, and all-metro during his senior year. He played college football at Stanford University, where he had an excellent game during the 2011 Orange Bowl. He had five rushes for 99 yards and one touchdown leading his team to a 40-12 victory against the Virginia Tech Hokies.

     

    Once he finished his college career, Stewart went to the National Football League. During the 2012 Draft, he went undrafted but was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted free agent. He had two short stints with the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets. He was eventually released from both teams, but Stewart believed that the adversity of being released from two teams helped him deal with tough situations. Stewart also played for the Oakland Raiders for two seasons and played one season for the Denver Broncos.

     

     

    During his college days at Stanford, he was opened to various career opportunities and towards the end of his professional playing career. While being enrolled at Stanford, Stewart had a huge interest in going into business. During the third year of his NFL career, Stewart realized he wanted to go back to school. He attended a wedding where he met some people that exposed him to business school for the first time because they were currently enrolled. He also saw some of his college teammates during the off-season and watching them excel at business made him want to attend school as well. He didn’t want to be too old trying to attend school and going to business school is something that he believes has more upside because football does not last forever.

     

    The transition for Stewart wasn’t easy because he devoted most of his life to playing football. During his transition from football to school, he had to change his day to day life. Instead of making sure he was in shape to play football, he had to get his mind ready for business school. 

     

    Moving forward, Stewart has major plans on how he will utilize his MBA once he graduates. “The biggest thing for me is to improve my knowledge as an athlete, having that knowledge of how a business works gives me so much leverage in general.” Stewart intends to go into investment banking and the tech industry. He is already making important strides to accomplish those goals by investing in his wife’s software company. During the summer, he will be working in investment banking with a leverage finance group at Wells Fargo in San Francisco. He will be helping companies make investments and acquiring other companies. 

     

    Soon, Stewart would like to help other athletes with their financial issues and literacy. He had some advice for current players that are playing in the NFL. “My advice to them is to start planning ahead and start taking the steps to set yourself up for post-football.” Jeremy Stewart has used his platform of playing football to set himself up for the best position possible for life after football. Stewart was successful on the football field and now will look to attain the same success in the business world.

     

     

    About Aaron Randolph, Contributing Sports Writer 

    Aaron Randolph was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvannia. He is currently a Class of 2018 Media Studies and Production major at Temple University. Aaron has always had a passion for media and sports production, as well as film production.  He is currently an intern for Fox 29 News and producer for a media company called MyNewPhilly. As he progresses throughout his career, he hopes to build a community center for at risk youth and women who have been victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. 

    Twitter: @ForeverAcee

    Instagram: @_aaron20

     

    About VCG Sports

    VCG Sports focuses on providing high-quality career and business development services for athletes on the collegiate and professional level, as well as highligting their achievements and involvement outside of their playing careers. We value the importance of personal interaction and take pride in building long-term relationships with the athletes we serve. Our services are cultivated around creating value and preparing athletes for life after sports. 

    Follow VCG Sports on Twitter and Instagram 

     

    Our Partners

    Men's Grooming Products 

    About MillenHeirs

    Millenheirs is an eclectic lifestyle brand whereby we currently create and sell handmade all-natural masculine-of-center grooming products, handcrafted jewelry and accessories, as well as aromatherapy items. Our line is stylishly centered around metaphysical tools, self-care, and holistic well-being.

     Www.millenheirs.com 

    MILLENHEIRS (@millen_heirs) • Instagram photos and videos

     

    States Developmental Football League

    About S.D.F.L.

    The States Developmental Football League is one of many developmental leagues participating in America's most popular sport today. We are comprised of 8 franchises that compete each year to win the SDFL BOWL, one of two of our largest annual sporting events. Founded in 2012, the SDFL developed the model for the successful developmental sports league, including extensive profit sharing, a business and financial curriculum, generational wealth building programs, competitive excellence, and strong franchises across the board. Headquartered in Houston Texas, the SDFL by 2020 will expand across the US with 20 teams.

    www.officialsdfl.net

    Follow S.D.F.L. on Twitter and Instagram

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    Darrell Walker Reenergizes Basketball Program at Clark Atlanta University Using NBA Experience 

    Clark Atlanta University Head Coach Darrell Walker against the Boston Celtics. Walker played with the New York Knicks from 1983-1986

     

    Words: Craig Allen Brown

    Images: Darrell Walker | CAU Athletics

     

    Former NBA player and coach Darrell Walker is using his experiences and compassion to significantly alter the lives of student-athletes at Clark Atlanta University.  His men’s basketball team is undergoing significant growth, in the classroom and on the hardwood.

     

    Darrell Walker excelled at basketball at the collegiate level under College Hall of Fame coach Eddie Sutton.  He twice led the University of Arkansas to the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA tournament.  In his last year as a Razorback, Walker averaged 18.2 point and 5.7 rebounds, and was selected as both the Southwest Conference’s Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year.  His play resulted in his selection as a first round pick of the New York Knicks. 

     

    Walker began coaching after a 10-year NBA career as a player, which culminated in an NBA championship alongside Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in 1993.  He served as a head coach for both the Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards before going on to assistant coaching positions with the New Orleans Hornets, Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks.

     

    It was during these years as an assistant that Walker developed a desire to coach at the college level.  Along with being involved with the sport that he loved, Walker eagerly anticipated the opportunity to assist young men in achieving their college degrees.  Clark Atlanta University Athletic Director Lin Dawson valued the experience that Walker bought to the table as both an NBA player and coach, and subsequently offered him the men’s head coach position.

     

     

    Upon being hired, Walker immediately changed the face of the program.  Prior to his arrival, the CAU Panthers only managed nine wins throughout the 2015-2016 season.  However, Walker more than doubled that amount of wins during his first year.  His team finished the season with a seven-game winning streak, resulting in the best overall record in the conference, an SIAC tournament championship, and a berth in the NCAA Division II national tournament, before falling to top-seeded University of Alabama in Huntsville.

     

    Walker not only changed operations on the basketball court; he changed the way in which his players pursued their educations.  He randomly visits his players’ classes to ensure that they are attending regularly; disciplinary action is taken if a student-athlete is not present.  He also implemented an annual art auction, where he donates pieces from his own personal collection for auction-goers to bid on.  Funds raised during the auction are used to pay for summer school, to ensure his players graduate on time.

    Walker’s second year at the helm has proven to be even more fulfilling than his first.  After 19 games, the Clark Atlanta University Panthers are 18-1, and ranked #22 among Division II schools nationally.  The team is undefeated in conference and division play, and ranks in the top three in several conference statistical categories, including scoring offense, scoring defense, turnover margin and scoring margin.

     

    Despite all the success he has achieved on the court, Walker is most proud of his influence off of it.  “When you get a kid to come play for you, it’s important that they leave with a degree,” he said. 

     

    About Craig Allen Brown, Contributing Sports Writer 

    Craig Allen Brown was born in Ramstein, Germany. After graduating high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Army as a Personnel Actions Specialist.  He served for 22 years, retiring in 2014.  Upon retirement, he enrolled at Clark Atlanta University, majoring in Mass Media Arts.  He will graduate with honors in May 2018.

    Twitter: @CraigAllen_21

    Instagram: @craigallen_21

     

    About VCG Sports

    VCG Sports focuses on providing high-quality career and business development services for athletes on the collegiate and professional level, as well as highligting their achivements and involvement outside of their playing careers. We value the importance of personal interaction and take pride in building long-term relationships with the athletes we serve. Our services are cultivated around creating value and preparing athletes for life after sports. 

    Follow VCG Sports on Twitter and Instagram 

     

    Our Partners

    Men's Grooming Products 

    About MillenHeirs

    Millenheirs is an eclectic lifestyle brand whereby we currently create and sell handmade all-natural masculine-of-center grooming products, handcrafted jewelry and accessories, as well as aromatherapy items. Our line is stylishly centered around metaphysical tools, self-care, and holistic well-being.

     Www.millenheirs.com 

    MILLENHEIRS (@millen_heirs) • Instagram photos and videos

     

    States Developmental Football League

    About S.D.F.L.

    The States Developmental Football League is one of many developmental leagues participating in America's most popular sport today. We are comprised of 8 franchises that compete each year to win the SDFL BOWL, one of two of our largest annual sporting events. Founded in 2012, the SDFL developed the model for the successful developmental sports league, including extensive profit sharing, a business and financial curriculum, generational wealth building programs, competitive excellence, and strong franchises across the board. Headquartered in Houston Texas, the SDFL by 2020 will expand across the US with 20 teams.

    www.officialsdfl.net

    Follow S.D.F.L. on Twitter and Instagram