SBD/December 27, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NFLPA Launches The Trust To Provide Retired Players Assistance With Health, Education

Mawae said a big part of CBA negotiations was over benefits and post-career options
The NFLPA last month launched The Trust, which is a union arm that "offers free amenities to former players in areas of health and nutrition, career transition and financial education," according to Emily Kaplan of THE MMQB. The $22M-a year-budget, which will increase by 5% annually, "was procured" from the '11 CBA. Former NFLPA President Kevin Mawae said, "A big part of our negotiations had little to do with dollars or the salary cap. It was about benefits and post-career options." The NFLPA "spent the last two years assembling the program." The union "set up partnerships" with the Univ. of North Carolina, Tulane Univ. and the Cleveland Clinic, and it "hired a staff of six, including four project managers who will work directly with the players." Any former player "who was in the league for two years, no matter his status ... can sign up by calling a toll-free number or sending an email." Every player will "be called back by a project manager, who will serve as a point-person as the retired player makes travel arrangements, doctors appointments and arrangements to attend seminars." Everything "is paid for, including airfare." While it is "a common misconception that most players endure financial or emotional hardship after retiring, it’s true that almost all are open to receiving guidance as they transition into a new life." Players "might use The Trust for networking or to finish their degrees." But can The Trust "reasonably accommodate everyone who wants to sign up for it?" Is it staffed and funded "well enough to handle the legions of retired players?" The Trust Dir Bahati Van Pelt said that the program "will grow in lockstep with enrollment, but it remains to be seen how much it will be used and how much it can truly offer" (MMQB.SI.com, 12/26).
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