NFL Players Tackle The MBA
Who is the latest athlete to pursue an MBA?
It is New England Patriots’ kicker Stephen Gostkowski – the third most accurate kicker in NFL history.
ESPN reports that kicker Stephen Gostkowski and a couple of teammates are not far off from earning their MBA. In September, it was reported that NBA Celtics’ guard Kyrie Irving was also pursuing an MBA degree.
“When you have little kids, and you’re in this environment, you’re sort of doing the same thing over and over again,” Gostkowski tells ESPN. “So I was looking for something that would challenge me and something that would obviously help me going into the future.”
Working Online During Offseason
Gotkowski and teammates Ted Karras and Joe Thuney are all pursuing their MBAs through Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. Their education is fully reimbursed through the NFL Players Association.
According to ESPN, the players complete their work online and during the offseason.
“Some of the classes can be extremely hard, some of them aren’t that bad,” Gostkowski tells ESPN.
Gostowski says the collaborative spirit of the MBA can be challenging.
“You have to work with other people, all throughout the United States, and some people from other countries, on group projects,” he tells ESPN. “They kind of set it up that way, because if you get a job in the real business world, you have to work with a bunch of people. So you have to make sure your time will match up with everyone else’s and that can be the most challenging thing, finding a good time that works for everybody.”
Football Won’t Last Forever
For Thuney, he first heard about the opportunity to pursue an MBA during rookie minicamp.
“It seemed almost too good to be true, that they would refund your payments,” he tells ESPN. “Why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of this? Football isn’t going to last forever. I’m two years in, chipping away at that. It’s a long process and going well. It’s interesting stuff.”
Karras says the opportunity to pursue education without debt is one of the main reasons he chose to pursue his MBA.
“I don’t really know what I want to do, but I’ve already learned so much,” Karras tells ESPN. “You hear people say, ‘I want to go into business,’ but what does that mean? I’m hoping it illuminates along the way. … Education is the biggest chunk of debt we have right now in my generation and to have an opportunity to get a third degree with no debt is pretty special, so I couldn’t pass it up.”