Meet The NFL Players Pursuing The Vince Lombardi Trophy & An Indiana Kelley Degree

Richard Magjuka, left, with Kansas City Chiefs legend Lake Dawson, who earned an MBA through Indiana Kelley’s partnership with the NFL Players Association. Dawson today is assistant director of college scouting for the Buffalo Bills. Two players currently in the program are seeking a Super Bowl title with the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday. Photo by Ann Schertz

From Bloomington, Indiana: As the Kansas City Chiefs make their third Super Bowl appearance in four years, two team players — one a student and the other an alumnus of the Indiana University Kelley School of Business — also are poised to return to the big game.

Joe Thuney, an offensive lineman, and Jordan Franks, a tight end on the practice squad, each took advantage of a partnership with the NFL Players Association that offers MBA and Master of Science programs to current and former NFL players.

Since 2014, more than 200 veterans of the gridiron have pursued either degree or a graduate certificate online through the partnership, delivered by Kelley Executive Degree Programs. Fifty-five players have graduated with an MBA or MS degree and another 19 have completed certificates. Another 128 are currently enrolled in the program.

Last fall, the Kelley School announced a similar partnership with the Major League Soccer Players Association and will begin admitting students this spring.

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Texas McCombs MBA creates hub for pickleball & other emerging sports

From Austin, Texas: Growing up, MBA student Thomas Shields, who expects to get his degree in May, was always passionate about sports. He spent his Michigan childhood playing everything from soccer to lacrosse and collecting and trading countless baseball, hockey and basketball cards. To say he came from a competitive sports family is an understatement. Winter vacation included mandatory morning tennis clinics with his parents, cousins and grandparents.

Shields’ first introduction to pickleball came about in2018. As members of his family got older, their family wanted to keep up with their routine matches but with fewer of the physical demands required by tennis. Pickleball — a blend of ping pong, tennis and badminton — was the solution.

Shields recognized that this emerging sport wasn’t just bringing his family together but had the capacity to build community on a national level. And with that, The Dink — the most popular national media outlet for pickleball — was born. (A dink is a finesse shot, hit with an upward trajectory, that lands just over the net in the opponent’s no-volley zone.) After studying finance in college, working in investment banking for three years, and spearheading sales and operations for a New York City startup, it was time for Shields to apply his experience to his own endeavors.

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Rotman to host Black leaders conference to mark Black History Month

From Toronto, Canada: The University of Toronto Rotman School of Management will host a Future Black Leaders Business Conference on February 25.

Attendees will meet current Black business leaders in Toronto and connect with the city’s vibrant and growing Black business community at the Rotman School of Management. They also will gain valuable advice and experience from industry professionals while participating in a stimulating and exciting atmosphere.

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