In professional sports the rookie orientation program has been around for quite some time, with the governing bodies doing what they can to help their franchises’ newest additions with the transition to the pro level. Topics such as off-field behavior, money management and the history of the league are discussed, and in most instances the experience is a positive one for those who attend.
And while college athletic departments have orientation programs for their new student-athletes, no conference has put together such a program. That changed Tuesday, as the Big East announced that it will be holding a two-day “Freshman Fundamentals” program for its men’s basketball freshmen. The program will be held in New York City September 12-13, with panels consisting of former Big East players and workshops on media training and personal branding on the docket.
Big East Senior Associate Commissioner for Men’s Basketball Stu Jackson, who announced the beginning of the program, worked in the NBA in various capacities for 13 years before joining the Big East in 2014.This program seems to be along the lines of the NBA’s rookie orientation program, where its’ newest additions spend a couple days learning about the various aspects of being a professional.
This program could be a good one, especially when it comes to helping the freshmen understand not just the on-court aspects of the game but some off-court issues they’ll be faced with as well. While teams themselves do what they can to aid in the transition, hearing those lessons from a different voice (especially from former players) can have just as much of an impact on freshmen, if not more.