The lockout, which was sparked by labor disputes, kept players from the usual spring training. The usual pre-season training offers players a chance to brush up on skills, study the play books, and integrate the rookies and the draftees. This year, though, players won’t get that chance.
Like the spring pre-season, the rookie symposium is a necessity of the game. Begun in 1997, it features 4 days of seminars and lectures by past and present players as well as NFL leadership that cover issues football players deal with both on and off the field. The organizers decided to cancel the symposium after realizing that the lockout has no end in sight.
Among the highlights that rookies will miss out on is the Ultimate Rookie Challenge. The Challenge is a trivia contest held at the end of the rookie symposium which covers the topics of discussion during the symposium. Each of the winners over the last 3 years took home a flat screen television. This year, with no symposium, there will be no winner.
The NFL lockout still in full force, the annual rookie symposium has been cancelled. The symposium, which was scheduled for June 26 in Canton, OH, is designed to help rookies transition from the “real” world into the world of professional football. Now, the up and coming rookies will likely just have to wing it.