NFL rookie symposium back on; NFLPA to host in Washington D.C.
The Rookie Symposium lives -- sort of.
Eight days after the NFL announced it was canceling its 2011 workshop for incoming draft choices because of issues associated with the lockout, the Players Association has stepped in to fill the void.
George Atallah, the assistant executive director of external affairs for the Players Association, confirmed to SI.com that "The Business of Football: Rookie Edition" will be held June 28-29 in Washington, D.C.
The event, which will be open to all players picked in the 2011 NFL Draft, will focus on financial planning, personal security, dealing with the media, and how to be a professional on and off the field.
"It was important for us to do this because it's a critical time in the lives of players who are about to enter the league," Atallah said. "Lockout issues aside, it's important that players are prepared for this next phase in their lives and careers."
The Players Association, which will cover the cost of the voluntary event, including travel and lodging, says it will bring in active and retired players to address the rookies, as well as experts in particular fields that will be topics of discussion.
The NFL previously scheduled its rookie symposium for June 26 at Canton, Ohio, home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. However, league officials announced last week that the mandatory event was being canceled because of "the uncertainty of the labor issues we are facing and the logistical challenges."
"The symposium is a large, complex event involving many professionals and others," league spokeman Greg Aiello said at the time. "In fairness, we could not continue to keep their commitment on hold."
Teams are prohibited from making contact with players during the lockout, which has been in place for all but a few days since March 11.