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Symposium to prepare rookies for NFL life

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (June 24, 2005) -- On June 26, the NFL will kick off its ninth annual Rookie Symposium. The four-day orientation will introduce the 2005 NFL Draft class to life in the NFL before the rookies report to training camps.

The program will include presentations, videos and workshops about the operation of the NFL and the challenges its players face. Interactive video learning -- during which each rookie uses a hand-held device to answer questions about the day's themes -- will be used again this year.

"This helps the rookies get off to a good start with regard to the new lifestyle they are about to enter," said NFL vice president of player and employee development Michael Haynes, a Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback. "The lessons learned at the Rookie Symposium help players develop personal and professional goals that will sustain them during and beyond their playing careers."

The symposium's agenda consists of topics such as personal finance, life skills, personal conduct, life as a rookie, media policy, substances of abuse, personal experiences, family issues, player development, football operations, NFL security, success in the NFL and life after football.

Speakers this June will include members of the NFL league office and clubs, the NFL Players Association, professionals in specialized fields, and current and former NFL players who have experienced first hand the difficulties inherent in some of the topics covered.

The rookies also will take part in the third annual NFL Youth Football Clinic at the Symposium on the second morning in West Palm Beach. At this event last year, the rookies tutored and ran through drills with 200 local area youths.

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