Shutdown Corner - NFL

NFLPA replaces cancelled rookie symposium with June seminarApparently, all that talk about the 2011 rookie symposium having to be cancelled because the NFL just couldn't deal with the logistics of an introductory seminar for incoming draftees was a bit over the top.

The league took the NFL-sponsored symposium off the books last week, blaming the labor impasse and claiming that "the symposium is a large, complex event involving many professionals and others. In fairness, we could not continue to keep their commitment on hold," according to league spokesman Greg Aiello.

The original symposium was to be held June 26 in Canton, Ohio.

But just a week after the May 24 cancellation date, the NFLPA has announced its own version, a two-day event to be held for all drafted rookies in Washington ob June 28-29. Titled "The Business of Football: Rookie Edition," the NFLPA version will focus on life skills, personal finance, security and post-football careers.

Active and retired players, along with various industry experts, will speak to the rookies, and it is expected that a lot of guidance will be offered regarding the lockout, depending on where the labor situation may be at that time.

NFLPA spokesman Mike Donnelly confirmed to Yahoo! Sports that the NFLPA will be underwriting all costs for the seminar.

"The NFLPA is always going to serve players," said George Atallah, the NFLPA's assistant executive director of external affairs, in an official statement on Tuesday. "The goal for 'The Business of Football: Rookie Edition' is to best prepare and equip rookie players to be professionals."

Contact between players and team officials is not allowed except by special dispensation during the labor fight, which will see its next slice of drama on June 3, when the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear more arguments on the legality of the lockout.

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