I am looking forward to seeing my friend Warren Zola at the New York Law School Sports Law Symposium coming up on November 4, 2011, and I was thrilled to see the positive press that he recently received in an article titled, At some schools, advisers help navigate going pro, which was picked up by newspapers across the United States.
The gist of the article is that there are many athletes who are unprepared for life after college (including the lack of proper education to intelligently select an agent), and very few schools offering an adviser dedicated to assisting those transitioning athletes. One of the schools that has a program proven to be successful is Boston College, where Zola is the chair of its professional sports counseling panel. But don’t take my word for it; hear it straight from Indianapolis Colts (former BC student-athlete) offensive lineman Anthony Castonzo:
“I went into it like most people, having no idea what happens. You could tell just from talking to fellow rookies that a lot of guys aren’t really up to speed on things. It’s good to have those resources, and Warren was one of them.”
The only reason an agent should be concerned about professional sports counseling panels is if they are influenced by cronyism. If universities take great effort to place knowledgeable, unbiased individuals on the panels, I see the panels doing more good than harm for student-athletes. Luckily for BC, the school has someone who is a gentleman and a scholar.