By Amanda Nageleisen
NKU Marketing + Communications
It isn’t easy to be the general manager of a National Football League team—a lesson that some Northern Kentucky University sports business students are learning firsthand this year.
In the “Moneyball: The Economics of Sports” (SPB 307) class at NKU’s Haile/U.S. Bank College of Business, students learn about labor market economics and the many variables that factor into deciding how – and when – to select a player in the NFL draft. And on Thursday, Dec. 8, they’ll put those lessons to the test in a live mock draft hosted by NKU alumnus and former sports radio host Tom Gamble and WLWT News 5 sports anchor and reporter George Vogel.
"This project is such a terrific learning opportunity for students, and engages them in labor economics in way that they'll remember for years to come,” said Gamble, who also co-founded the NKU Sports Business program.
Each student in the Moneyball class has been assigned a NFL team to represent in the draft as the team’s general manager. As GM, the students are responsible for evaluating their team’s labor needs as well as the available labor talent in the pool of current collegiate football players.
“With a mock NFL draft, students can apply the labor market concepts unique to sport in a fun and highly interesting way,” said Dr. Joe Cobbs, who leads the course. “In the past, students have really embraced the GM role by making trades and debating the merits of certain athletes relative to their cost."
Each student will have 90 seconds to make his or her player selection in reverse order of NFL teams' season performance as of Nov. 10. Gamble, Vogel, and Cobbs will announce the picks and interview student GMs live throughout the draft, which will be held 1:45-2:45 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8 at the George and Ellen Rieveschl Digitorium in NKU’s Griffin Hall.
"While the pressure of the draft makes me anxious, being a part of the NKU NFL Draft Project is such an awesome experience. This is as close as you can get to real-world general manager responsibility,” said junior Hanna Allen. “You feel a sense of pride in ranking and choosing players that would become an asset to ‘your’ NFL team. This project really allows students to see the evaluation of talent that each NFL team goes through each and every year.”
Fans and friends can follow along live on Twitter using the hashtag #NFLdraftNKU.