FB Chris Pressley can knock heads with the best of them on the football field, but he also uses his when it comes to the business world
Jeff Faine is already a successful businessman. Chris Pressley clearly has the will to be the same.
And yet both Faine and Pressley know there is much they still have to learn about the business world.
Next week, those two Tampa Bay Buccaneers teammates will take advantage of a wonderful opportunity to do just that. Faine and Pressley are among the 77 current and former NFL players who have been accepted into this year's NFL Business Management and Entrepreneurial Program, which consists of a pair of workshops at Harvard Business School and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
The two motivated Buccaneers will participate in the Wharton program, a four-day module which begins next Tuesday, February 16. The Wharton program stresses entrepreneurship and business building with an emphasis on real estate. The program also includes an emphasis on analyzing financial statements, legal issues, investing and money management, social responsibility, property management, insurance and liability fundamentals, and taxation.
Faine and Pressley were admitted despite the most rigorous application process since the NFL's program began in 2005. Each is clearly the sort of student who will make the most out of the opportunity.
While emerging as one of the top centers in the NFL since he entered the league in 2003, Faine has also found success in the business world. In just the last two years, he has opened a clothing store named Forty Seven in Orlando, taken ownership of two restaurants (Barley House and Harry Buffalo) in Cleveland, opened a night club called the Republic, also in Cleveland, and launched a local ad network called MyCity. He has also launched both The Faine Group, a management company that oversees his business and charitable ventures, and Centered Property Real Estate Investments (C.P.R.I).
Despite a disadvantaged childhood in which his family was twice evicted from their home, Pressley finished high school with a 4.0 grade point average. He showed the same dedication to his studies at the University of Wisconsin even while excelling on the football field, graduating with a bachelor's degree in marketing and economics and yet another 4.0 GPA. Since he graduated early, Pressley used the extra time to earn a master's degree, as well.
It's no wonder, then, that the NFL made Pressley one of just three rookies in the NFL to be admitted to this year's program, and the first Buccaneers rookie ever to do so.
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. Since the program begin, 502 players have taken advantage of it.
Other players who were admitted to this year's program at either Harvard or Wharton include tight end Dallas Clark and running back Donald Brown of the Indianapolis Colts, the Pittsburgh Steelers' James Farrior, Miami defensive end Jason Taylor and wide receiver Deion Branch and defensive end Patrick Kerney of the Seattle Seahawks.