Domonique Foxworth is branching out.
The president of the NFL Players Association and a six-year veteran has helped produce the documentary: "SCHOOLED: The Price of College Sports." The film will premiere next Wednesday on the EPIX premium network.
Foxworth, who attended Maryland and now is in the Harvard Business School while serving as union president, got involved in the film through his friend, author Taylor Branch, whose article in The Atlantic was the source for the documentary.
Foxworth equates college athletes' fight for representation with the civil rights movement.
"I think the major issue is the players don't have a voice," Foxworth says. "The framework of the system is constructed without them being involved. It certainly is like civil rights and any situation where people are being exploited or taken advantage of. There is more risk and less reward for these athletes.
"My issue is not with them being paid, but having a voice, getting lifetime medical care for those who are hurt from when they played in college. A payment is a pacifier, and doesn't speak to the true problem."
Foxworth recognized while at Maryland that the education being provided to football players was relatively limited. When he wanted to choose a major, he was told a number of majors were not reasonable for him because too much time was required pursuing them.
"Advisers made it clear to us it is not advisable to take on these things and that was kind of off-putting," he says. "The degree you are getting is largely discounted — no one makes any bones you are here to play football."
His pro football career over since 2011, Foxworth became heavily involved in the collective bargaining sessions between the NFL and the union. That eventually led him to Harvard, where his wife received her law degree.
"I never dreamed of this until after the CBA negotiations and that kind of made it for me," he says. "Before that, I thought of CEOs as a world apart from who I was and who I could be. Then I sat across the table in those negotiations and realized I am just as smart and skilled in some key areas of business as they were."
He hopes to use his business acumen as an entrepreneur or perhaps in investments. Foxworth will step down as NFLPA president in March when his term concludes.
PEYTON'S REMEMBRANCES: Being closer to the end of his remarkable career than the beginning, what will Peyton Manning miss most about the NFL when he retires?
He says he takes in the moment more at age 37. Last week, for instance, he sat with Knowshon Moreno and they shared a laugh over the argument they had moments before the running back gained just enough ground on third-and-inches from the 1 to give the Broncos a first down — but not the touchdown they didn't want in the closing moments of their win at Dallas.
The Broncos then ran the clock down, preventing Tony Romo — who had matched Manning all afternoon — from getting the ball back in his hands, and Matt Prater kicked the winning field goal as time expired in Denver's 51-48 win.
"I think you do have an appreciation for those things because you also know that once you stop playing, you don't get to fly on a plane with 53 guys and everybody's standing up when the plane's taking off, nobody has their seat belt fastened, everybody's using their cell phone," Manning said. "When the pilot says we can't take off when those things are happening, they're lying because you can. Because we do it.
"Those are things you miss when you stop playing and so I guess I try to have an appreciation for those things."
As Manning stepped off the podium moments later, he cracked, "I'm sure the FAA is not going to appreciate that."
D-JAX READY FOR TRIP TO REVIS ISLAND: Eagles WR DeSean Jackson didn't wait to start trash-talking with Buccaneers CB Darrelle Revis.
"I'm definitely sure that his coaches are confident in him, but I don't think that he can run with me," Jackson said. "I don't think he's as fast as me, but it's going to be a challenge. He's a great player."
Jackson, off to an excellent start, will likely go one on one against Revis when the Eagles (2-3) play at Tampa Bay (0-4) on Sunday. Revis, the three-time All-Pro, is in his first season with the Bucs after establishing himself as one of the league's best shutdown cover men during his time with the Jets.
"I love facing guys that have the ability to go out there and be a shutdown corner," Jackson said. "It gets the best out of you. It makes you want to step your game up."
Jackson has stepped his performance up. He has 28 catches for 525 yards and three touchdowns. Jackson, though, has 23 of those catches, 429 yards and the three scores in three games. He was held to five receptions for 96 yards and no TDs in games against Kansas City and Denver in which cornerbacks Brandon Flowers and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie played a lot of press coverage against him.
"I still feel comfortable and confident, regardless of who is guarding me," Jackson said. "Hopefully we'll get some of those looks and be able to go down the field, but if not, if I have to do underneath (routes) or hitches or whatever it is I have to do to help my team win the game, that's what I'm here to do."
THROW HIM THE BALL: When they really need that yard, the Bengals bring in defensive tackle Domata Peko to block.
The 6-foot-3, 320-pound lineman with the trail of hair down his back likes being on the other side of the collisions. He helped plow the way for BenJarvus Green-Ellis' 1-yard touchdown run in a 13-6 victory over New England on Sunday.
"Oh, I love it, man," Peko said. "It's so much fun. Usually I'm out there trying to tackle running backs and quarterbacks. It's fun being a fullback. You get to run people over."
He had one problem on Sunday: He got going too soon on a play from the 1-yard line and was flagged for a false start, pushing the Bengals back and getting him off the field. Andy Dalton scrambled back to the 1-yard line, and Peko was back in, blocking for the game's only touchdown.
Peko reports as an eligible receiver and has caught passes in practice. He scored a touchdown on a fumble return at Michigan State, but hasn't been in the end zone since.
"For a defensive lineman to score a touchdown — that would be awesome," Peko said. "I'm looking forward to that."
What about it, Marvin Lewis?
"We'll see," the coach said. "Just as long as he doesn't create any more penalties or he won't get his opportunities. He's caught it in practice."
SWEET MEMORIES: Titans running back Chris Johnson is looking forward to going back to Seattle on Sunday. That's where he became the sixth running back in NFL history to rush for at least 2,000 yards in a season.
He remains convinced he could have broken Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record that day at the end of the 2009 season.
Johnson said he has a lot of good memories from that day.
"I remember a lot, but the thing that pops out at me is when they called my long touchdown run back," Johnson said. "That was when I first went over 2,000 (but) they called it all the way back. ... I think I would have broken it."
Johnson had a 62-yard touchdown run put him at 2,060 early in the fourth quarter, 55 yards shy of Dickerson's record. A holding call on Ahmard Hall wiped out the TD, and Johnson finished up with 2,006 yards. Johnson said the official who threw the flag told him the next year it was a bad call.
Titans teammate Nate Washington has a different memory from that day of Johnson taking a photo with the offensive line and tight ends, leaving the receivers who blocked on his long runs out of the picture. Still, he remains proud he blocked for a 2,000-yard rusher.
"I'm going to personally sit back at times when I'm 40, 50 60 years old looking at this game on television with my kids and grandkids," Washington said. "To have an opportunity to play with a guy who actually seen 2,000 yards is incredible."
Pro Football Writers Rob Maaddi and Arnie Stapleton and Sports Writers Joe Kay, Teresa M. Walker and Michael Marot contributed to this story.
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