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Old 06-01-2011   #1
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Default NFL Players Association saves the canceled rookie symposium

Money aside, rookies are going to be negatively affected no matter what or when the outcome of the lockout.

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The NFL Players Association has stepped in to rescue the canceled rookie symposium.

The original symposium, which was to begin June 26th at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, was canceled by the NFL last week because of the lockout.

But the Players Association will instead host "The Business of Football: Rookie Edition'' June 28-29 in Washington, D.C., George Atallah, the assistant executive director of external affairs for the Players Association confirmed to SI.com.

All 254 players selected in the draft will be invited to the event, which includes money management, media relations, and personal matters such as security and professionalism.

Agent Peter Schaffer, who was critical last week of the NFL's decision to cancel the beneficial annual session, praised the Players Association move.

"I think it's great,'' said Schaffer, who represents Browns No. 1 pick Phil Taylor, and Pro Bowlers Joe Thomas and Josh Cribbs. "It's terrific that people want to step up and help these young men make the transition from amateur athletics to professional athletics.''

Schaffer said he'll encourage Taylor to attend the voluntary session in Washington, D.C. if the lockout is still on. The NFL's symposium was mandatory.

"It would be a great learning opportunity and educational experience,'' said Schaffer.

He re-iterated his dismay that the NFL is "dropping the ball on human issues'' including not paying for substance abuse treatment and counseling of players during the lockout or for NFL trainers to be present at players-only workouts going on in various cities.

"I understand the business aspect, but the human side should be totally outside the whole lockout,'' he said.

Attallah told si.com, "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. Lockout issues aside, it's important that players are prepared for this next phase in their lives and careers.''

The rookies will hear from current and former players during the event, as well as financial and other experts. The Players Association will pay for everything, including travel expenses
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Old 06-01-2011   #2
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Default Re: NFL Players Association saves the canceled rookie symposium

One upsmanship. Damn, where will it end??
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