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New partnership between Howard University and the NFL is about jobs

Campus Connections will be one of four programs at the university

After unveiling its controversial new anthem policy last month, the NFL has a little bit of good news for African-Americans.

On Wednesday, the league announced a new partnership with “The Mecca” of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Howard University. The league and university will collaborate to create the Campus Connection Program, which was designed to help students develop professional careers in football management.

“Campus Connection is part of our ongoing and continuous commitment to celebrating the impact HBCUs have had on the game of professional football, driving awareness around career opportunities, and providing access to the business of sport,” said Troy Vincent, NFL executive vice president of football operations.

This is not the first time the NFL has partnered with HBCUs. In 2016, the league worked with the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and the Southwestern Athletic Conference to increase diversity within its administrative offices. Participating students received professional development training that included job shadowing, internships and participation in a summit at the 2017 Celebration Bowl.

This new partnership with Howard is an extension of this program.

The Campus Connection Program will start in fall 2018 along with the launch of the Business Sports and Entertainment Summit at Howard. University professors and NFL staff already participate in an Executive Lecture Series and Student Lab Case Study and a School of Business Sports & Entertainment Summit on campus.

“This collaboration will bring significant rewards to our faculty and students and provide them with great insight into the business of sports, while also developing skilled management professionals to meet the recruitment needs of the NFL,” said Barron Harvey, dean of Howard University’s School of Business.

Benefits of the program are designed to span beyond the institutions. The program will help connect students with league internships, mentorship and networking opportunities. HBCU football operations staff will also be able to work at some NFL events.

Miniya Shabazz is a Rhoden Fellow and a junior mass communication major from Laurel, MD. She attends Grambling State University and is a staff writer for The Gramblinite.