Kuhn, Moore Attend Business Education Program


Packers fullback John Kuhn and tight end Evan Moore hope their playing careers are far from over, but they're doing what they can now to prepare for life after football, whenever that may be.

Kuhn and Moore both recently participated in the NFL Business Management and Entrepreneurial Program, a series of business education seminars at select schools that assist players in preparing for their post-playing careers. This year, 95 NFL players attended one of the sessions and more than 400 have enrolled since the program's inception in 2005.

Kuhn attended a four-day session at Harvard Business School in late February and returned for a follow-up four-day session in early April. Moore participated in a four-day session at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in early March.

This is the second straight year Kuhn, who has played in every game for the Packers the last two seasons and scored three touchdowns in 2008, has participated in the program. Last year he went to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where the program focused on real estate.

This year at Harvard, Kuhn was studying business start-ups, entrepreneurship and franchising, which is where he's looking strongly at focusing his energies in the business world.

"Franchising is something I've been kind of interested in," Kuhn said. "It's something you still need to put both feet into, so it's not something I really wanted to get into during football.

"So these (programs) are great. Just throughout the football season, you lose a little bit of your competitive edge as a businessman, because we're in here thinking football and playing football. So in the offseason it's good to really get started thinking about business and numbers."

At Stanford, Moore was returning to the college he attended, and he went to the program with his college quarterback and good friend, Trent Edwards, now with the Buffalo Bills. Like the Harvard sessions, the Stanford program gave the players entrepreneurial case studies to read and discuss, looking at the good and bad business decisions made along the way.

"The idea was to present different business models, look at the mistakes and success stories, and then those entrepreneurs came to speak to the group about things they learned in the process," said Moore.

One of those was Dan Gordon, co-founder of the Gordon Biersch Brewing Company. At Harvard, Kuhn heard from Lance Johnstone, a defensive end out of Temple who played 11 seasons (1996-2006) for the Raiders and Vikings.

"He decided he wanted to build some houses in the Temple area, in kind of a rundown area, so it was a risky choice, and he made a lot of real critical decisions that turned out well for him," Kuhn said. "It was interesting to see a former player be at that turning point - 'Should I do this or not do this?' He made his decision and it turned out well.

"The biggest thing I learned is you can never ask enough questions, and you can never do enough due diligence. Once you think you have a good enough understanding that you're ready to make a choice, you should sit back and do about 10 more hours of studying and due diligence before you make that choice."

One key choice players like Kuhn and Moore already have made is taking advantage of opportunities like this the NFL provides for its players. Moore noted his group at Stanford got a very valuable message from Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young, who is now a successful NFL commentator on ESPN.

{sportsad300}"Steve Young was brutally honest," Moore said. "He said, 'Right now you're paid to play football because you're great at it, but none of you guys are great at anything else right now. So when you're done playing and you want someone to pay you more than just some entry-level position, you have to be good at it.'

"That process of honing those skills and getting ready for life after football I think starts almost immediately. Some guys wait until their third or fourth year, but I don't know if I'm going to play three or four years. I plan on it, but there are no guarantees in this league."

Moore knows all about that, having injured his knee in the second preseason game last summer, which forced him to spend his entire rookie year on injured reserve. He'll be fighting for a roster spot in his second year.

He already possesses a master's degree from the Stanford sociology department, earned before his college career concluded, and he's considering returning to school at some point to work on an MBA.

Kuhn is thinking about an MBA as well, perhaps at one of the schools he's already attended the past two offseasons.

"I want to take the next couple years while I'm playing football hopefully, and be able to research these better and get a better understanding of where I'd like to go," Kuhn said. "I'm thankful for these business programs. There's so much the league offers us as players that we can take advantage of and further ourselves as people and not just football players."

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