Friday, March 20, 2015

The Concussion Conundrum

Borland retires after rookie season due to health concerns

By: Ellen Buckley

Former Wisconsin Badger and linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers Chris Borland made the tough decision to retire at the young age of 24.  After one of the most successful rookie seasons in 49er history, Borland is being proactive about his mental health and taking a stance on the risks football has on causing permanent brain damage. 

The risk associated with repeated concussions is often some form of traumatic brain injury or disease.  According to ESPN, more than 70 former NFL players have been diagnosed with progressive neurological diseases after their brain has been tested post morbid.  Also, the NFL disclosed that “nearly three in 10 former players will develop debilitating brain conditions.” Unfortunately, Borland has had to see the effects and suffer the loss of friends because of this problem. Personally, he has only suffered two concussions in his career, both occurring during high school, but Borland says, “who knows how many hits is too many?” 

Borland’s retirement comes as a surprise to the NFL, coaches, and fans. However, most respect his decision to protect his health.  Borland says, “from what I’ve researched, and what I’ve experienced, I don’t think it’s worth the risk.”  Borland seems very confident with his decision and the least of his concerns is the money he could receive by playing just one more year.  According to Borland, “health is more important than a career in football.”

Although it is disappointing that we won’t be able to watch one of the best linebackers to come out of Wisconsin football, we can all be assured that he’s making a smart and educated decision; after all, he is a Badger. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Marketing Internship with the UW Athletic Department

Milwaukee Bucks Sales Associate

Any interested in this position can apply via TeamworkOnline or reach out personally to Natalie Porter, former SBC member and current Sales Associate for the Bucks, who will pass along your information/application. People who send their application to Natalie and have her pass it along will probably carry a little more weight than applying through TeamworkOnline. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Natalie directly:
  • Phone: 414-224-3410
  • Email:
This is a great opportunity at an entry level job in the sports field!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Speaker Spotlight: Kayla Gross

This past week, Kayla Gross, the Community Relations Coordinator for UW Athletics, spoke with SBC about her role in the athletic department here on campus.

Kayla is a 2013 graduate from UW, which means that yes, she is young. But that hasn't stopped her from being driven and passionate about working in community relations. Kayla was strategic about her involvement, and advised SBC members to "tailor [their involvement." She learned PR skills from a company called Lindsay, Stone & Briggs, worked with UW Athletic Department Guest Services, and volunteered her time as a member of SBC. Kayla suggested taking a directed study while in school as well. Additionally, she had a panel of "advisors" that she knew she could come and talk to at any time, and highly stressed that SBC members find their own panel to help guide them.

Kayla's current role as the Community Relations Coordinator involves a number of tasks, all of which keep her busy:

  • Reports to the Associate Athletic Director of External Relations
  • Devises and manages all community outreach related content distributed via UW Athletics communication channels
  • Serves as the media contact for all Badgers Give Back related media inquiries
The main program Kayla oversees is Badgers Give Back. This is a program in which student athletes participate in community service by visiting Madison-area schools and hospitals. Badgers Give Back is based on a platform consisting of four areas: education (Bookin' it with Bucky), mentorship (Flat Bucky), helping hand (visiting the American Family Children's Hospital) and health and wellness (WiscFit).

Kayla also talked about what she called "truth bombs." She talked about the pros and cons of working in intercollegiate athletics: low pay, little "vacation," large amounts of "responsibility" (aka stress), lots of hours, and slight upward mobility. You have to be prepared for criticism, and build your "resilience arsenal."

Kayla said that right now, networking should not be the priority. Instead, figure out now what your inspiration is, and find yourself first. Then move forward from there.

She left us with this quote from Brian Michael Bendis: "The trick isn't caring what EVERYBODY thinks of you, but just caring about what the RIGHT people think of you.

SBC would like to thank Kayla for taking time out of her busy schedule to talk to members of the club!

Speaker Spotlight: Bob Hamer

Recently, Bob Hamer, founder and owner of Sports Business Solutions, spoke to SBC members. Bob, a native of Southern California, graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in business management. U of A doesn't offer a sports management program, just like Wisconsin, so he joined a sports business club similar to SBC. Bob has had experience in the sports industry working for the Charlotte Bobcats and Phoenix Suns, and now he currently runs a company called Sports Business Solutions which is dedicated to helping people find jobs and internships in the field of sports.

Bob started in sales, but was able to work upwards in the industry by focusing on three things, which he also suggested SBC members do, too.

  • Commitment to learning and growing--be open-minded
  • Have a strong work ethic
  • Have the right attitude--control the "controllables"
He had other pieces of advice for the members in attendance as well. Bob stressed the need to begin to network, and that starts by being active when guest speakers come in to talk--get to know what they do. Each speaker is a new and unique opportunity to network. He also noted that SBC members should take advantage of having social media platforms to make connections and network--mainly because these options didn't use to exist! Sites such as LinkedIn and are very important, so Bob suggested making accounts on each if you haven't already done so.

Bob shared pointers as well about simple steps that can be taken to get in the position you want to be in.

  • Companies are looking for someone who wants to be there and believes in his/her abilities
  • There's a different path for every position in sports, with many ways to get in--there is no one direct path
  • Understand what skills you need to develop to put yourself in the right position
  • Do everything you can to gain an advantage over other possible candidates, whatever that may be
  • Research positions beforehand
  • Figure out what interests you
  • Once you do those things, go all in!

A very special thanks to Bob for making the trip to Madison to speak with SBC!

Also, please feel free to fill out a free profile on his site: