49ers players Takeo Spikes, Tony Wragge, Allen Rossum, Donald Strickland and Barry Sims are among the 95 players who have enrolled in the NFL Business Management and Entrepreneurial Program at the Harvard Business School, Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern University), 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. Since the program's 2005 inception, 407 players have participated in sessions at the four business schools.
49ers guard Tony Wragge will be enrolled at the entrepreneurial program at Harvard. A former employee at LA Fitness and Home Depot before entering the NFL, Wragge has seen the importance of having and effective business model and hopes the program can help him gain valuable knowledge.
"I just wanted to gain a better understanding of how I could get into a business plan, whether it's real estate, small business or my personal finances," said Wragge. "I think that's something that's important to anyone who wants to expand their knowledge of business practices."
The four schools will offer executive education activities in their respective areas of expertise (see complete descriptions below). Harvard Business School will hold programs for players from February 22-25 and continue the coursework with an additional in session from April 5-8. The Wharton School, the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Kellogg School of Management will run sessions from March 1-4. Wharton will hold an additional follow-up session from March 30-April 1.
Players complete an application process in order to attend the NFL Business Management and Entrepreneurial Program. Enrollment criteria includes level of education; professional business experience; interest in starting, owning, or managing a business; and leadership and community involvement. Under the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement, players may be reimbursed for up to $15,000 per year for education expenses at an accredited institution of higher learning.