16 Dol­phins im­mersed in busi­ness sem­i­nar

Play­ers to get start on life af­ter foot­ball

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - NBA - By Chris Perkins Staff writer ch­perkins@sunsen­tinel.com; on Twitter @Chrisperk

Mi­ami Dol­phins owner Steve Ross is giv­ing his play­ers an op­por­tu­nity to take care of them­selves off the field by of­fer­ing a sort of busi­ness com­bine thisweek in New York City. The unique seven-day ven­ture be­gan Mon­day.

Six­teen Dol­phins play­ers, in­clud­ing quar­ter­back Ryan Tan­nehill and Pro Bowl de­fen­sive end Cameron Wake, are get­ting a jump-start to their post-NFL ca­reers by at­tend­ing busi­ness meet­ings, sem­i­nars and go­ing to var­i­ous busi­ness sites around New York.

“Most of them are re­ally bright, in­tel­li­gent guys who have the ca­pac­ity to do many things in life,” Ross said, adding many play­ers have the ca­pa­bil­ity to suc­ceed in busi­ness just as they did in ath­let­ics.

“I think you have to give them the confidence, it’s there,” Ross said.

The pro­gram gives the play­ers an op­por­tu­nity to think about and pre­pare for life af­ter foot­ball.

“I know the re­al­ity of be­ing a foot­ball player,” said the 35-year-old Wake. “It’s not for­ever.”

The event fea­tures peo­ple from all walks of life as ev­i­denced by the fact ac­tor Mark Wahlburg and David Robin­son, the NBA Hall of Fame cen­ter, will be speak­ing via video con­fer­ence later in the­week.

Other Dol­phins in at­ten­dance are safety Isa Ab­dul-Qud­dus, de­fen­sive end An­dre Branch, guard Jer­mon Bushrod, line­backer Don­ald But­ler, cen­ter Jake Bren­del, long snap­per John Den­ney, de­fen­sive end Ter­rence Fede, line­backer Mike Hull, line­backer Je­lani Jenk­ins, cor­ner­back By­ron Maxwell, line­backer Spencer Paysinger, safety Michael Thomas, guard Kraig Ur­bik, and of­fen­sive tackle Sam Young.

Those at­tend­ing this year’s busi­ness com­bine are play­ers who have shown an in­ter­est in busi­nesses such as real es­tate, tech­nol­ogy, busi­ness oper­a­tions, busi­ness de­vel­op­ment and in­vest­ing.

This is the sec­ond year Ross has con­ducted this event for Dol­phins play­ers. Last year six play­ers at­tended.

Play­ers will get ad­vice from a num­ber of en­trepreneurs in­clud­ing Ross, Mav­er­ick Carter, a key busi­ness as­so­ciate of NBA star LeBron James, Har­vey Spe­vak (CEO of Equinox), Michael Ru­bin, co-owner of the Philadel­phia 76ers and New Jersey Devils, and Dave Gil­boa, co-founder and coCEO of Warby Parker.

“It’s like an all-star list of peo­ple they’re meet­ing with,” Ross said.

Play­ers will sit in on a weekly de­vel­op­ment meet­ing at Re­lated, tour RSE Ven­tures, the sports and en­ter­tain­ment firm founded by Ross and Matt Hig­gins, and tour Hud­son Yards, the largest de­vel­op­ment in New York City since Rock­e­feller Cen­ter,

Play­ers picked up their own ex­penses for travel and lodg­ing be­cause the Col­lec­tive Bar­gain­ing Agree­ment (CBA) pre­vents the team from pick­ing up such ex­penses.

NFL Player En­gage­ment had a sim­i­lar event at the Univer­sity of Michi­gan re­cently, but this one is just for Dol­phins play­ers.

Kaleb Thorn­hill, the Dol­phins’ di­rec­tor of player en­gage­ment, said about 30 play­ers showed ini­tial in­ter­est in the com­bine and through word of mouth their ex­cite­ment seems to be grow­ing.

The pro­gram is var­ied. Ross spoke to the play­ers ear­lier Mon­day and gave them his back­ground as a busi­ness­man. Play­ers were sched­uled to at­tend the New York Knicks-Toronto Rap­tors game at Madi­son Square Gar­den on Mon­day night and then get back into the full-fledged busi­ness pro­gram to­day.

Ross said “ev­ery owner should­have the re­spon­si­bil­ity” of de­vel­op­ing them as foot­ball play­ers as well in their ca­reers af­ter foot­ball.

“This is re­ally to give them ca­reer in­sight as to what busi­ness is about,” he said.

“I know the re­al­ity of be­ing a foot­ball player. It’s not for­ever.” Cameron Wake

JIM RASSOL/STAFF FILE PHOTO

Mi­ami Dol­phins owner Stephen M. Ross has 16 play­ers up in New York this week for in­ten­sive busi­ness sem­i­nar. his

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