Former Great Troy Vincent Speaks to Football Team

July 26, 2010
TAMPA - Former NFL great and current Vice President of NFL Player Development Troy Vincent spoke to the USF football team Monday to discuss the importance of earning a degree and of maintaining proper conduct off the field.

As part of his duties with the NFL, Vincent has gone around and spoke to various collegiate teams to discuss the realities of a player's chances of making it in the league as well as to educate future NFL players about how their actions off the field can negatively affect them and their team.

Citing a whole host of statistics, Vincent gave the players a sobering reality that their chances of performing in the NFL for more than three years stands at less than one percent.

Of the more than 1.02 million football players in high school, 61,000 go on to play collegiate football. Of those more than one million high school players, 300 will make their way onto an NFL roster.

Vincent called the NFL a great temporary job, but, "You will be in the real world someday. That why your education is so important," he said.

"Do not leave this university without getting your degree," said Vincent.

A five-time Pro Bowler, Vincent was taken with the seventh pick of the 1992 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. He was the recipient of the 1992 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

More sobering statistics came in the form of what happens to players after they leave the NFL. Studies done have shown that 65 percent of players lack a college degree, Vincent said, while 78 percent of players will be bankrupt, divorced or unemployed two years after retirement. Nearly 25 percent of players are bankrupt right after retirement.

Vincent explained at the beginning of his nearly 45-minute presentation that the NFL isn't as concerned with bringing into the league the most talented players anymore, but rather bringing in the best people from a character standpoint.

Following a short video that featured several professional athletes talking about the distractions that exist off the field, Vincent went on to tell the players that maintaining good behavior and avoiding certain situations - such as texting while driving or drinking late at a club - will help your career down the road.

Everything you do has consequences and getting into those situations will have negative consequences for you, your teammates and your family, he stated, and prevent them from reaching the next level. He cited websites such as Facebook as to where a negative action could end up being seen.

He also mentioned how personal appearance and how you carry yourself can make a big difference in how successful you are after college.

Vincent later talked about avoiding agents and not taking anything early, and that you alone are responsible for all your actions.

In the end, though, the 14-year NFL pro stressed to the players to enjoy their collegiate careers and earn that degree before they leave.

"Your options run out when you don't have an education," he said.

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