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MLB Legend Alex Rodriguez and Golfing Great Greg Norman Headline Sport Industry Conference

By Andres Tamayo
UM News

Alex Rodriguez and Greg Norman

Alex Rodriguez and Greg Norman

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 3, 2017)—Miami native and former Major League Baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez and Hall of Fame golfer and entrepreneur Greg Norman will be the keynote speakers at the 2nd Annual Sport Industry Conference March 23-24 at the Watsco Center.

The conference, which was started by Assistant Professor Alicia Jessop, will feature “Greg Norman’s Search for the Next Great Sports Entrepreneur” on March 24 at 10 a.m., prior to his speech.

Norman’s team of investors, who received hundreds of applications from eight countries and five continents, will choose the winner from five finalists who are vying for the chance to receive the financial backing and investment needed to jumpstart their venture.

After ending his career as one of baseball’s most decorated players, Rodriguez turned his passion and competitiveness to business entrepreneurship. A member of the University of Miami’s Board of Trustees, he is founder and CEO of A-ROD Corp., a private holding company with businesses in the U.S. and Latin America. He also serves as a special adviser to Hal Steinbrenner, owner of the New York Yankees.

Rodriguez’s 22-year career in baseball included 14 MLB All-Star Game appearances, three American League MVP Awards, and the 2009 World Series Championship with the New York Yankees. He also has used his extensive knowledge of baseball as a color commentator for FOX Sports.

At the conference, UM will announce the winners of the “Rising 25” award, presented by Front Office Sports, a sport industry website founded by current UM Sport Administration senior Adam White and TeamWork Online, on Thursday, March 23, the day Rodriguez gives his keynote address. This award will honor the 25 best sports business students and professionals who are 25 or under.

Other speakers include former NBA world champion Shane Battier; current Cleveland Browns running back and UM alumnus Duke Johnson Jr.; UM’s Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year Blake James; and Miami Heat Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Michael McCullough, among others.

For a full conference agenda and list of speakers, visit the Sport Industry Conference website.

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From the World Cup to UOnline


From the World Cup to UOnline

Leslie Fitzpatrick has always been competitive. Growing up with successful sisters he was pushed to succeed. As a young boy in Trinidad and Tobago he quickly realized that he was really good at two things–academics and soccer. Part of the second generation in his family to go to college, he understood the importance of a good education and was delighted when he was accepted into Columbia University.

He achieved All-Ivy Honors in both soccer and academics (as a double major). After graduation, he embarked on a nearly 10-year professional soccer career in the Netherlands, Canada, and the U.S. His soccer apex came when he helped guide Trinidad and Tobago’s national soccer team to the World Cup.

After his career as a professional player came to an end, Fitzpatrick became the director of two soccer programs and found himself commuting between Toronto and Buffalo. When talking to his players, he reinforces that playing is as much mental as physical.

As he often tells his team, “Ninety percent of of what goes into becoming a professional happens above the neck. Everyone is talented. How you prepare mentally will be what sets you apart.”

Deciding to go back to school

Fitzpatrick always considered going back to school but could never find the time. He originally wanted to get into NCAA coaching and give back to kids, but later realized that he needed to make himself more marketable. So when he heard about UOnline’s Sport Administration program and found out that it had the components and flexibility he needed, he decided to go for it. He has not regretted it.

With a UM degree I feel like I will be able to do more than just be a coach,” he said. “It gives me a lot more options. The networking is also unbelievable—I have gotten access to front offices and influential sporting people in the industry. That access is hugely underrated.”

While juggling his two jobs, two DSCN0185.JPGcountries and being a UOnline student is not easy, Fitzpatrick’s  discipline and mental focus have helped him immensely, and he now has an approach that works for him.

While he still has a ways to go,  Fitzpatrick is now confident that he will continue to rule his career.

To learn learn more about the Sport Administration program and available scholarships that are available, visit the program page.

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Sebastian Visits New UOnline Enrollment Advisors


Sebastian Visits New UOnline Enrollment Advisors


For Schauri Dixon, the U is a family affair.

Special to UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 26, 2015) — Sebastian the Ibis recently paid a special welcome visit to enrollment advisors from UOnline, which offers the University’s online master’s programs in finance, sport administration, and professional accounting.

Sebastian met with Schauri Dixon, Pablo Quiles, Eric Sargent, and Marcial Robiou, who joined UM last fall. They are filming a series of videos to help prospective students learn more about UM’s online degree offerings. The first online courses, in the finance and sport administration programs, started in January, and the professional accounting program starts in May.

Pablo Quiles

Pablo Quiles says the U “always felt like a home for me.”

Quiles and Robiou are graduates of the U themselves. “It’s always felt like a home for me, and I wanted to bring my love and passion for the University to this job to show that to the students I advise,” Quiles said. Robiou, who met his wife while studying at the U, said, “It’s a great brand name. Everyone in the world knows about the University of Miami, and I’m very proud of that.”

Advisor Eric Sargent studied history at the University of Virginia, and is now pursuing his own graduate degree online. “I’m doing my MBA online right now, so I understand the importance of going back to school,” he said. “This is a great opportunity for people to advance themselves.”

For Dixon, the U is a famiy affair. Her father and many of her cousins are ’Canes. “What could be more inspiring than meeting with Sebastian?” she said. “We’re even more fired up to help highly qualified working professionals learn how they can connect with our world-class faculty from anywhere in the world through our online programs.”

For more information about UOnline programs, visit www.miami.edu/online.

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