Texans enroll in biz programs

NEW YORK (NFL) -- Texans tackle Chester Pitts, center Drew Hodgdon, tight end Bennie Joppru and linebacker Kailee Wong are among the 120 NFL players who have enrolled in the* NFL Business Management and Entrepreneurial Program* at Harvard Business School, the Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern University), the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

The program is part of an ongoing NFL-NFLPA initiative to assist players in preparing for their post-playing careers. Last year, in the program's first season, 66 NFL players participated at Harvard Business School and the Wharton School.

The four schools will offer executive education activities in their respective areas of expertise (see complete descriptions below). Harvard Business School and the Wharton School will hold three-day programs for players starting February 27 and conduct an additional three-day session in early April. The Kellogg School of Management and Stanford Graduate School of Business will run three-day sessions beginning March 6.

Player enrollment criteria include level of education, professional business experience, interest in starting, owning, or managing a business, leadership and community involvement.  Under the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement, players may be reimbursed up to $15,000 this year for education expenses at an accredited institution of higher learning.

Following are brief descriptions of the executive education programs offered at each business school:

Harvard Business School: Pitts (Feb. 27-March 1; April 3-5)

The HBS program emphasizes entrepreneurial opportunities and business management. Content includes financial analysis, marketing strategies, selected general business skills and legal, contractual and tax considerations. Using the case method, participants learn how to work together to resolve problems similar to the ones they face in business.

The Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University (March 6-8)

The Kellogg program focuses on developing and selling a brand and evaluating franchise opportunities. This program provides a foundation for recognizing sound marketing plans and preparing players to ask key questions when analyzing opportunities.

The Stanford Graduate School of Business: Hodgdon (March 6-8)

The Stanford program seeks to broaden a player's understanding of how to evaluate business opportunities in general and in the sports industry specifically. The program consists of lectures, case studies, and discussion groups to illustrate the broad opportunities in the sporting industry and other industries (including real estate, entertainment, and investment).

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania: Joppru, Wong (Feb. 27-March 1; April 3-5)

The Wharton program focuses on a broad range of business topics, including financial analysis, entrepreneurship, real estate development, stock market investing, negotiation skills, risk management, and community reinvestment. Attendees work on directed as well as individual real estate, entrepreneurial and personal finance projects during the month between the program's two sessions.

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