SOUTH BEND, Ind. – About two dozen current and former NFL players are expected to attend a four-day program at the University of Notre Dame to learn how they can start a for-profit business that can also help communities.
The session April 18-21 is part of the NFL Player Engagement program aimed at helping players transition to life outside football. The “Investment for Impact” program was developed by quarterback Brady Quinn and centre Jeff Faine, a pair of free agents who are former Fighting Irish players.
Faine said a lot of NFL players want to give back, but federal and state laws concerning charities can be obstacles. He said speakers will talk about how players can put together a for-profit business that has a philanthropic mission.
“This is a way of being able to help people without jumping through all those hoops,” said Faine, who started a charity in Orlando, Fla., to help young adults too old for foster care receive training in life skills.
The engagement initiative is offering current and former players 10 training programs for post-NFL careers, ranging from a real estate program at Penn’s Wharton School of Business, to training sessions on how to break into coaching and broadcasting. Faine said he took part in a real estate investment program at Wharton that was intensive.
The program at Notre Dame is being run through the university’s Stayer Center for Executive Education and the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship. It will include business plan development, case studies, lectures, interactive exercises and players will be matched with faculty mentors.
“It’s an opportunity to rub shoulders with the right folks and get exposed to some different things they may not have been exposed to in the past,” Faine said.
Among those scheduled to take part in the program are free agent quarterback Charlie Batch, former New England Patriots linebacker Adalius Thomas and Oakland Raiders defensive end Lamarr Houston. Faine, Quinn and former NFL players Warrick Dunn, Rick Mire and Jeremy Bloom are among those scheduled to speak.