As the saying goes, there are thousands of NCAA athletes and most of them are going pro in something other than sports. Even at a monster program like Ohio State, only the cream of the crop will jump to the NFL, while the rest of the roster will have to make a living in something other than football.
So as an extension of Urban Meyer’s Real Life Wednesdays, last Thursday the Buckeyes called their players, donned in the nicest suit a college football player can own into Ohio Stadium, for the program’s first-ever football job fair. The idea started late in Meyer’s tenure at Florida.
“We were sitting around the staff room,” Meyer told the Columbus Dispatch, “and one of my coaches said, ‘You know what, Coach: We work so hard to get these guys degrees. When we were young, a degree meant a job. Those days are over. A degree doesn’t mean a job. So what can we do for these players?’ That’s when I started thinking, and that’s when I came up with this.”
Athletes can be at somewhat of a disadvantage when graduation hits, since they spend so much time on the practice field and in the weight room that can’t otherwise be spent getting real-world work experience. To rectify that, the Ohio State football program brought 57 businesses and organizations into the Horseshoe.
“Our coaches stress that it’s 3 to 6 percent maximum of the guys in the room who are going to the NFL, and of those guys, there aren’t very many who are going to make it 14 years in the NFL,” defensive lineman Michael Bennett said. “It’s essential to have a Plan B and a Plan C and a Plan D just in case stuff doesn’t work out.”
So now the question is, When is your program going to start its own football job fair?