Dave Schuman is a NFLPA certified contract advisor and Co-Founder of Inspired Athletes. Schuman, a former starting linebacker at UConn, is also the founder and CEO of NUC Sports which puts on various combines, camps, and showcases for high school football players. A few months ago, Inspired Athletes was profiled by our own Darren Heitner on Forbes.
(1) When did you realize that you wanted to pursue a career as a sports agent and what specifically interested you in this career?
I never thought I would be a sports agent. I coached high school football since 2002 and I have owned and operated National Underclassmen Combines and NUCsports.com since 2005. It wasn’t until athletes were coming out for the NFL from my camp, and the fact that many had contacted me asking about agents, that I then finally started to think about it in 2013. I had already seen over 50 athletes per year going onto the NFL from my camp so I thought, after researching the industry, that I can help athletes make that transition from college to the NFL and beyond and do it better.
(2) Where did you go to college as an undergrad? Did you pursue a graduate degree or any internships to further market yourself in the sports industry?
I received my Degree from UCONN, BS in Finance, and then got my MBA in Management of Technology. I was a 3 year letterman and linebacker at University of Connecticut under Skip Holtz. I started coaching football in 2002 in HS and have coached all the way through 2014 where I was a head coach for 10 years. I own and operate NUC Sports and the National Underclassmen Combines which is the largest set of showcases, combines, camps and 7v7 all designed to evaluate and assist football players getting recruited for college. I have been running that since 2005 and have been working with athletes through training facilities as well since 2001.
(3) You are also the CEO of NUC Sports. What exactly is NUC Sports and how did you first get involved? As a follow up, what role did that play in becoming an agent?
NUC Sports is a company that owns and operates the largest set of showcases, combines, camps and 7v7 all designed to evaluate and assist football players getting recruited for college. Our signature events are the National Underclassmen Combines. We run over 100 events and have over 20,000 HS football players come through every year. We started in 2005, and my main motivation was to help create an event that will help players who had not come from traditional powers in HS to have somewhere where they can be evaluated and seen. The original premise was for a player I coached in HS named Steven Beauharnais who has now gone onto the NFL with the Redskins. My goal in football has been to develop a platform that athletes can have a relationship with a group that can help them from the time they are in the football system as a youth to all the way when they finish their NFL career.
(4) How does the recruitment process work and how has it changed over the last few years?
I don’t know how recruiting college players over the years has changed. I primarily work on building relationships with the families and working with people that I want to be around.
(5) How has the growth in technology affected the sports management and athlete representation industry?
It changed the game dramatically, from video, to dvd, to YouTube, to HUDL to distribution via social media. It’s constantly evolving and becoming streamlined.
(6) Take our readers through a typical day in your life.
Oh boy, I wake up around 7:30, check my email, send out promotion items around 9-11am, call coaches morning till afternoon from college coaches to NFL, I meet with my event teams for NUC, talk to my players, and meet and discuss things with my partner in the afternoon. I send follow up emails and call throughout the evening. I am traveling several times a month for recruiting, for events, and for conferences…It’s a wild wild ride every day.
(7) If there was one thing about the sports industry you could change, what would that be and why?
I believe there should be much better education for players and their families on the recruiting process and the NFL. I think the lack of real good information on what happens, why it happens and how it happens is severely lacking. Athletes and families have no idea how to go from A-Z and they make so many mistakes because there is so much false information out there. We need formal education for athletes in the schools on recruiting and managing themselves . We need more programs in college on how to get real careers and career paths in the sports industry. Colleges do a poor job of educating students in one of the fastest growing industries which is sports. We need career advancement, career management and real classes that teach people how to work in the sports industry. We must also teach more classes on how to be a success entrepreneur and leader and that starts in the schools.
(8) What are some of your personal goals/goals for Inspired Athletes in the future?
My goal is simple. I want them to be a success on the field and in life and that means being a great athletes, great post athletic career, great parents, great family, great financial success and enjoy each day and attack it.
(9) What do you do for fun when you are not in the office?
Fun.. I enjoy coaching if that counts, I enjoy going to Saratoga in the summer, I enjoy hanging out with my college friends and family, and I enjoy doing all sports and staying active a little golf, a little hoops, and working out.
(10) What advice do you have for young professionals looking to enter the athlete representation business?
Do your research, learn about the game and build relationships. It is important to learn what is going to take place and enjoy the players you work with, because if you enjoy the players you will love the job every day.