A look at NFL's safe ride and rookie programs

The Associated Press Published:

The NFL Players Association has a "safe ride" program available 24 hours a day, and the league holds an annual rookie symposium for all drafted players to try to train them on life skills. Highlights of both programs:

NFLPA'S SAFE RIDE PROGRAM: There are two ways to use it. One is calling for pre-arranged service where driver will stay with the player(s) for the duration of the night. Another is an emergency response plan in which the company says wait times are generally less than an hour in most major cities. The cost is $90 per hour, gratuity included. The service is run through a security company and is confidential. Information for the service is on each player's membership card with the NFL Players Association.

NFL'S ROOKIE SYMPOSIUM: Held annually at varying sites in the summer, about a month before training camp. There were several firsts for the 2012 event in suburban Cleveland: speeches by current and former players; separate sessions for the NFC and AFC to make the group sizes smaller; and a trip to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Featured speakers included Eagles quarterback Michael Vick and Bengals cornerback Adam Jones. Both have had high-profile legal problems. The "core teaching principles" are NFL history, experience, player expectations, and professional and social responsibility. Other topics include player health and safety, decision-making and maintaining positive relationships.