FAN STORY Essay

Submitted By sstrinko
Words: 873
Pages: 4

In March of 2010 I founded and directed a 501-3(c) organization called FAN, Inc. Foundation for Athletes in Need, Incorporated. For months I passionately pursued its mission to identify and assist former NCAA athletes with life controlling issues that effected their lives, in part due to injuries incurred while participating in NCAA sanctioned activities. The need was established but, branding, marketing and getting the word out was a daunting task, particularly without any funding whatsoever. I have since had some personal life controlling problems of my own and I have put FAN on hold awaiting the re-introduction. This time and with sound advice I plan to have funding in place including a recognizable, national "spokesperson" committed (and paid if necessary) to the cause.

Allow me to give you background and reference to my interest in FAN. I was an all-star, MVP Middle Linebacker for the University of Michigan. I was a highly recruited High School All American out of Monroe, Ohio. I received scholarship offers from all over the country and qualified scholastically to play at any of the Ivy League schools as well as any of the four Military Academy's. You may be familiar with Michigan's head coach at the time, the great Bo Schembechler. In High School we were 29-1 going undefeated my Junior and Senior years. At Michigan we were 40-3-1 from 1971 thru 1974. That is an amazing 69-4-1 in 7 years. I was blessed to have been a part of some great teams.

40 years ago in the 4th game at Stanford I suffered what would turn out to be a career ending knee injury. Even though I continued to play, make 3rd Team All-American and play as an All Star in the East-West Shrine Game as well as the Hula Bowl, I was doing irreparable damage to my injured right knee. By the time the draft was held I had slipped from a second or third rounder to the ninth round, going to the Detroit Lions who chose to take a chance on me.

Since it is too late to make a long story short I will go on. Needless to say, I found myself placed on waivers only after 2 weeks into camp early in my second year. It was 1976. Even with an entire year to re-hab, I had simply done too much damage and became unable to keep fluid off of my knee. All I ever wanted to do was play football and now it was over. The sad and confusing part is that despite sacrificing my body day in and day out while at the University of Michigan, they had nothing in place that could help me 20-30 years later when my body started to give out and the chronic pain of osteoarthritis began to consume me. I was overweight, had Hypertension and type 2 Sugar Diabetes, and I became addicted to any drug that could relieve my symptoms. I finally ended up losing my wife, family and business. That was in late 2001. I have been working to find my way back and with the grace of God I have done just that. In December I will finish my Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Michigan.

What I discovered was that despite 100 million dollar Athletic Departments, despite former letter-winners who have experienced some financial success and who are looking for and desiring an avenue where they can,…