NFC West: Levar Woods

Back to school for 10 in NFC West

February, 17, 2009
2/17/09
1:33
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Ten current NFC West players qualified to attend elite business schools this offseason as part of an initiative through the NFL and the NFL Players Association.

A few retired players are also participating. The workshops send players to Harvard Business School, the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

I went through the list and singled out NFC West players by team:

49ers: Tony Wragge (Harvard), Takeo Spikes (Harvard), Allen Rossum (Northwestern), Donald Strickland (Northwestern), Barry Sims (Stanford). Also, former 49er Dave Barr enrolled in the Stanford program.

Rams: Oshiomogho Atogwe (Northwestern). Also, former Ram Tony Fisher enrolled in the Harvard program.

Cardinals: Calais Campbell (Harvard). Also, former Cardinals Michael Stone and Levar Woods enrolled in the Stanford program.

Seahawks: Jeff Rowe (Harvard), Will Herring (Wharton), Patrick Kerney (Wharton). Former Seahawk Rick Mirer enrolled in the Northwestern program.

The Northwestern program focuses on "developing and selling a brand and evaluating franchise opportunities [and providing] a foundation for recognizing sound marketing plans and preparing players to ask key questions when analyzing opportunities." The Rams' Atogwe might want to keep those things in mind as he heads toward free agency (unless the Rams name him their franchise player).

The Harvard program "emphasizes entrepreneurial opportunities and business management. Content includes financial analysis, marketing strategies, selected general business skills, and legal, contractual and tax considerations."

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 Pennsylvania 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."

The collective bargaining agreement calls for teams to reimburse players for up to $15,000 in annual education expenses. Not a bad benefit.

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