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Many NFL players make their football camps free

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We noted last week that the Adrian Peterson Football Camp would cost $199 to attend — and wouldn’t even feature Adrian Peterson. But we’re also happy to pass along word of several football camps that sound like a much better deal, at a price that can’t be beat.

Packers receiver James Jones told the San Jose Mercury News that he makes his football camp free because he remembers how it felt when he was growing up in San Jose, seeing flyers advertising football camps.

“But they all cost money,” Jones said. “Living in homeless shelters, I knew my mom didn’t have $150 for me to go to a camp. If she did have $150, it was for us to survive.”

On Saturday more than 100 boys attended the Pierre Thomas Free Football Skills Day in Lansing, Illinois, where the Saints running back grew up.

I love giving back because this is where it all started for me. I want the kids in this community to be successful, too,” Thomas said.

Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather volunteered his time at another free football camp this weekend, and Cowboys running back Felix Jones hosted a free football camp on Saturday in his hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Jones recruited several other NFL players to volunteer their time at his camp, including Dominique Franks, Gerald McCoy, Brandon Keith and Chris Chamberlain, and he said he viewed it as an opportunity to teach the kids in attendance about more than just football.

“There were a lot of life skills going on here today, and I’m glad we have the guidance and the teachers to spread that news,” Jones told News 6 in Tulsa. “For the kids to be here is awesome.”

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45 Responses to “Many NFL players make their football camps free”
  1. touchdownroddywhite says: Jun 26, 2011 2:10 PM

    That’s awesome. I remember the same thing when I was kid. Not homeless shelters, but just wanting to attend sports camps and other things that were far out of reach for my mom. Kudos to these guys showing that it’s about more than just the money to some people.

  2. thereisalwaysnextyear says: Jun 26, 2011 2:20 PM

    Diddo what the first poster wrote. If only one of these kids gains something from these free camps and either grows up to be a better father, or starts a succesful business(gerating jobs), or maybe makes it to the NFL…it was well worth it. Pay if forward. IF everyone had this type of attitude we’d all be much better off. It’s not always about money, but time. Even those less fortunate can give their time to try and help someone in some way. America needs to get back to its roots and away from the reality TV, ME attitude that is so prevalent today.

  3. annnann says: Jun 26, 2011 2:24 PM

    Big props to them, its always great to see players give back to the community.

  4. packersareandwillalwaysbebetterthanthebears says: Jun 26, 2011 2:28 PM

    Good job to all those guys. What they did is truly amazing. There is no reason Adrian Peterson needs $200 a kid for a football camp. Especially one he didn’t bother to show up to.

  5. hobartbaker says: Jun 26, 2011 2:34 PM

    Camps are free, but the equipment you need to play the game cost $700.

  6. ctgiant says: Jun 26, 2011 2:41 PM

    Totally agree with touchdown’s comment above!
    Why in the world would Peterson charge $199.00
    and then not EVEN attend?
    Like 100 kids parents have $199.00 laying around, in this economy, $199.00 is allot for any average family, like in food; gas money; rent or mortgage payments!
    I really liked Peterson, and will give him his due on the field, but he sucks as a person off it!
    PS. Does he really need that money!
    Some how, I hope he reads this!

  7. cruells says: Jun 26, 2011 2:44 PM

    This article makes AP look like the biggest scum on earth.. Charging 199$ for a camp where he is a no show.. He kinda is..

    Charging money and having a sponsor for a 2 day football camp just shows how he is all about the money and not about the kids..

  8. spidey817 says: Jun 26, 2011 3:05 PM

    Much respect for these guys. It’s great to see them spending their time helping out kids.

    I honestly can’t see a better use of their time during this lockout. At least it’s one positive side-effect of this thing.

  9. nickynick04 says: Jun 26, 2011 3:06 PM

    Shady MaCoy of the Eagles sent his brother to negotiate his presence at a football camp for $9,000 upfront…( to a training facilty I was at in Quakertown PA…..)

  10. canetic says: Jun 26, 2011 3:09 PM

    Ironic that it’s the lesser known players that have the free football camps. The major stars all seem to charge big $$$ to attend.

  11. ezmoover says: Jun 26, 2011 3:15 PM

    I guess I just assumed that because of Adrian Peterson’s extensive, personal experience with slavery, that he would have had a little more empathy for all the other poor souls.

    The best part (maybe the only good part) about this lockout is that we’ve learned a lot more about certain players.

    I’ve lost all respect for Adrian Peterson.

    He’s a piece of garbage.

  12. ironhawk says: Jun 26, 2011 3:34 PM

    “Diddo what the first poster wrote. If only one of these kids gains something from these free camps and either grows up to be a better father, or starts a succesful business(gerating jobs), or maybe makes it to the NFL…it was well worth it. Pay if forward. IF everyone had this type of attitude we’d all be much better off. It’s not always about money, but time. Even those less fortunate can give their time to try and help someone in some way. America needs to get back to its roots and away from the reality TV, ME attitude that is so prevalent today.”
    —–
    I’m not sure if there was ever a point where Americans didn’t have a ME first attitude.

  13. mick730 says: Jun 26, 2011 3:50 PM

    It’s great that James Jones and the others offer football camps at no charge to the participants. However, some camps offer quite a bit more than others in terms of duration of the camp, accamodations, activities, meals; some of them are almost like summer camp. Some of them are just a few hours affair. I have no idea what any of the camps noted in the post offer, whether they be the freebies or Adrian Peterson’s camp.

    And yes, while unemployment is terrible right now, there are still a whole lot of people who can easily afford to slap down $199.00 for a football camp. If somebody thinks there aren’t 100 folks able to pay that in the entire country, they’re either on drugs or need to get out of their homeless shelter for a few hours and walk around some.

    And finally, this:

    “PS. Does he really need that money!”

    Whether Peterson really needs the money is none of your business. If you, or anbody else doesn’t want to pay for the camp, nobody is making you. You don’t want to pay, you don’t go. Really simple.

    How much do you make per year? Tell us all and then we’ll let some other blogger decide if you really need all the money you make. If the blogger decides you don’t need all that money, however much it is, we’ll let the blogger decide how many months you should work for free, or better yet, how much of your “unneeded” income should be dontated to “the community”.

    Gag me.

  14. godofwine330 says: Jun 26, 2011 3:50 PM

    Like James Jones said, my mom didn’t have the money for football camps. That money was to survive, to feed us, to catch the bus to work.

    Props to all of those players that realize this and make their camps free.

  15. mikebrownistheworstownerinprosports says: Jun 26, 2011 4:14 PM

    @mick730: You really come off as an arrogant turd in your post. Like someone who has never befriended a single person who owns a home that costs less than 250k. Like someone who sneers at “commoners” and thinks anyone outside of his tax bracket must be on drugs and in a homeless shelter. Am I close?

    Adrian Peterson is a public figure who has the public to thank for his millions. So public service is expected. Or he can be a jerk… like you. That’s an option as well.

  16. ramofsteel says: Jun 26, 2011 4:21 PM

    I think callin Peterson “a piece of garbage” is takin it a too far. He does do his part in chartible work, I think he went to Africa last year and helped kids out there. But yeah charging the kids’ parents in this economy to spend 6 hours @ a camp that bears his name and does’nt show up is pretty low.

  17. Spencer says: Jun 26, 2011 4:57 PM

    It’s good to be reminded that there are still classy players in the league.

  18. tjacks7 says: Jun 26, 2011 4:59 PM

    I knew I’d see a few comments bashing Adrian Peterson for charging for a camp that he wasn’t even a part of. In reality, ProCamps Worldwide runs that camp and thus they charge $199 to attend. Now does Adrian Peterson get a portion of those proceeds? Who knows. Probably.

    And as a business running a company such as ProCamps Worldwide, (not an individual who makes millions playing a sport, but a company), you’d be as dumb as the people who pay for your service if you didn’t charge people dumb enough to pay for what you offer. Ya know, since if there weren’t customers willing to pay, there’d be no business.

  19. davisjosh20 says: Jun 26, 2011 5:02 PM

    hey, give Peterson a break. The camp he didn’t attend was one Ge didn’t know he was supposed to attend. The sponsors scheduled it without asking him he he had any other plans. Not making him out to be a good guy, he still charged a ton of money, just saying he didn’t skip out on it.

  20. trbowman says: Jun 26, 2011 5:05 PM

    Speaking of Meriweather, what happened to those allegations that he shot someone?

  21. dd393 says: Jun 26, 2011 5:07 PM

    Maybe Adrian had something important to do. Or somewhere important to be. Like maybe he scheduled a boat ride or something like that.

  22. granadafan says: Jun 26, 2011 5:09 PM

    It’s slavery to give free camps.

  23. lbijake says: Jun 26, 2011 5:12 PM

    I just joined the anti-Peterson camp. No enrollment fee.

  24. rbrow018 says: Jun 26, 2011 5:21 PM

    Its kinda ironic that these are midlevel NFL players doing this…..and not the ones who make 30 mil a year for playing (not even counting endorsements0

  25. alberthaynesworth says: Jun 26, 2011 5:36 PM

    Not me. I charge those little brats their weekly allowance. Hey my families have to eat. Hey hey hey!

  26. dempsey63 says: Jun 26, 2011 5:38 PM

    My niece got paid to attend one NFL cornerback’s cheerleading camp. When they assembled onstage at the end of it, he dumped 100,000 dollar bills from a garbage bag above their heads.

  27. zappa69 says: Jun 26, 2011 5:39 PM

    Nice post David Michael Smith! Nice extra slap in the face for making it a Packer/Viking thing. Now go back to your moms basement and do your research on all the other players that do and don’t charge and write a story with ALL their names. When my kids were at the age to go to camp I was happy the player charged for his camp, it was the only way my son was able to go. Myself not being homeless and broke would have worked against my kids. They would have been overlooked so a kid not as lucky as mine would get the spot. I do believe in making things affordable and free to give back to the community is the way to go BUT the reason my kids were able to go to camp was because we were able to pay. Do the research and you can amaze us with your findings. Also, when my kids went to camp it was first class all the way. The player easily spent the participation fee in givebacks. Maybe another story on what you get for your money compared to a camp with no fee.

  28. cosanostra71 says: Jun 26, 2011 5:46 PM

    I would love to meet the kind of person who gives a thumbs down to a comment talking about how great it is that some players give back to their community…

  29. khmer379 says: Jun 26, 2011 5:59 PM

    If you win a superbowl it better be a free football camp jus saying

  30. melonnhead says: Jun 26, 2011 6:15 PM

    Gag me.

    ——————————————————-

    Seriously?

  31. mattsffrd says: Jun 26, 2011 6:51 PM

    but AP needs that money, HE IS A SLAVE.

    seriously, he’s a piece of sh*t and i’ve lost all respect for him.

  32. dlk81 says: Jun 26, 2011 7:34 PM

    I think it’s a great thing for pro athletes to hold free camp, but as many of you have said it’s all the mid level players doing it mostly because people won’t pay for camp held by a guy that is mostly only known by the hometown fans. I wish more top tier athletes would put on free camps. For example I just looked up the Manning camp, $405 for one day! Now that’s ridiculios!

  33. vikefan says: Jun 26, 2011 8:26 PM

    AP never had anything to do with the camp, but no one mentions that. Also nothing mentioned about all his previous support with Vikings childrens fund, tase of NFL, south america kids, special olympics. Please know and understand all of the facts b4 judgement. He has not been stellar this off season, but he’s not trash either.

  34. sanjose61 says: Jun 26, 2011 8:27 PM

    Also, 2009 SEC sack leader and Buffalo Bill Antonio Coleman held his 2nd annual free camp this week. Kudos to all the NFL guys that do this.

    As for AP… he or those using his name can charge what he wants. AP can sell/lend his name to whomever he wants.

    But if something messes up where campers are not notified till 2 days beforehand that he will not be at a camp named after him, I would suggest that Mr. Peterson should hire a better personal assistant so that such things don’t happen again. It does not reflect well on AP that:

    1) The camp is named after him and he did not show up.

    2) Paid campers were not notified until 2 days prior that he would not appear… basically false advertising.

    3) The people he entrusted to use his name told a lie as AP’s reason for not being able to attend.

    People can apologize for him all they want. Not saying he’s a bad guy but if I put my name on something like this, I’m gonna babysit it… because it’s MY name on the thing.

  35. Soulman45 says: Jun 26, 2011 11:09 PM

    It is great to see these fellow taking time out to help the kids some people just do great things.

    Keep up the great work.

  36. thephantomstranger says: Jun 26, 2011 11:55 PM

    That’s great that these guys don’t charge for their football camps. Bravo to them.

    Still, who would pay to go to James Jones’ camp?

  37. CKL says: Jun 27, 2011 12:32 AM

    dlk81 says:
    Jun 26, 2011 7:34 PM
    I think it’s a great thing for pro athletes to hold free camp, but as many of you have said it’s all the mid level players doing it mostly because people won’t pay for camp held by a guy that is mostly only known by the hometown fans. I wish more top tier athletes would put on free camps. For example I just looked up the Manning camp, $405 for one day! Now that’s ridiculios!
    ___________________________________
    In defense of the high profile guys, my guess is that part of that is that if they held free camps they would have bazillions of kids wanting to attend some of whom would have parents or family members show up just to gawk at and swarm them for autographs and not have much interest in the instruction part of the camp and they would have to weed out a lot of people and engender bad feelings. If they charge a bunch, that does the weeding out for them and ensures they have more serious candidates.

    That said I am glad to see an article about guys who do run free camps. Most NFL players I wager do enjoy making kids happy.

  38. childressrulz says: Jun 27, 2011 3:22 AM

    mick730 says: Jun 26, 2011 3:50 PM

    It’s great that James Jones and the others offer football camps at no charge to the participants. However, some camps offer quite a bit more than others in terms of duration of the camp, accamodations, activities, meals; some of them are almost like summer camp. Some of them are just a few hours affair. I have no idea what any of the camps noted in the post offer, whether they be the freebies or Adrian Peterson’s camp.

    And yes, while unemployment is terrible right now, there are still a whole lot of people who can easily afford to slap down $199.00 for a football camp. If somebody thinks there aren’t 100 folks able to pay that in the entire country, they’re either on drugs or need to get out of their homeless shelter for a few hours and walk around some.

    And finally, this:

    “PS. Does he really need that money!”

    Whether Peterson really needs the money is none of your business. If you, or anbody else doesn’t want to pay for the camp, nobody is making you. You don’t want to pay, you don’t go. Really simple.

    How much do you make per year? Tell us all and then we’ll let some other blogger decide if you really need all the money you make. If the blogger decides you don’t need all that money, however much it is, we’ll let the blogger decide how many months you should work for free, or better yet, how much of your “unneeded” income should be dontated to “the community”.

    Gag me.
    ________________________________
    First James Jones story is impressive and inspirational. I wish he didn’t drop the damn ball so much.
    Second mick730 is a total dildo! I hope he dies from a scorching case of herpes. I wouldn’t piss in your mouth if your teeth were on fire.

  39. tombrookshire says: Jun 27, 2011 7:57 AM

    @thereisalwaysnextyear – Of course it’s about ME when it comes to kids. Can you blame them? When parents arrange the entire adult lives around the needs and wants of children, including buying a special vehicle to transport all the gear plus other people’s kids, how could they possibly conclude anything other than he or she is just the most special little creature the world has ever seen? Play dates, soccer, dance, computer camp, a room full of electronics, phones to stay in touch with all the other special princes and princesses. Every kids gets a trophy, no kid left behind, self-esteem. Where does it end? No wonder child grow into adults who can’t do anything for themselves, including cook, balance a checkbook, pay a bill. All they can do is push buttons on a game controller and whine that they are bored :(

  40. carlgerbschmidt says: Jun 27, 2011 12:57 PM

    thephantomstranger says:
    Jun 26, 2011 11:55 PM
    That’s great that these guys don’t charge for their football camps. Bravo to them.

    Still, who would pay to go to James Jones’ camp?

    ____________________

    Typical vikes fan. Is it any wonder everybody hates them? James Jones is a class guy and a top-notch WR. He’d be a WR1 on 89% of all NFL teams.

  41. thephantomstranger says: Jun 27, 2011 1:03 PM

    carlgerbschmidt says:
    Jun 27, 2011 12:57 PM
    Typical vikes fan. Is it any wonder everybody hates them? James Jones is a class guy and a top-notch WR. He’d be a WR1 on 89% of all NFL teams.
    _______________

    Really? So he’d be a WR1 on 28.5 teams in the NFL?

    You’ll probably get your chance to see him as a WR1 this year because he’ll probably get cut. The one good play he’s ever made was in the preseason.

  42. carlgerbschmidt says: Jun 27, 2011 1:08 PM

    1. thephantomstranger says: Jun 27, 2011 1:03 PM
    carlgerbschmidt says:
    Jun 27, 2011 12:57 PM
    Typical vikes fan. Is it any wonder everybody hates them? James Jones is a class guy and a top-notch WR. He’d be a WR1 on 89% of all NFL teams.
    _______________
    Really? So he’d be a WR1 on 28.5 teams in the NFL?
    _________________

    That’s right, the .5 is the vikes.

  43. thephantomstranger says: Jun 27, 2011 2:18 PM

    carlgerbschmidt says:
    Jun 27, 2011 1:08 PM
    1. thephantomstranger says: Jun 27, 2011 1:03 PM
    carlgerbschmidt says:
    Jun 27, 2011 12:57 PM
    Typical vikes fan. Is it any wonder everybody hates them? James Jones is a class guy and a top-notch WR. He’d be a WR1 on 89% of all NFL teams.
    _______________
    Really? So he’d be a WR1 on 28.5 teams in the NFL?
    _________________

    That’s right, the .5 is the vikes.
    ________________

    If the Vikes are half a team, then there would be 31.5 teams in the NFL, and the percentage would be 90.5%. I suppose next you’ll say the Packers are a team and a half.

    I’d say you have half a brain if you think any team in the NFL would prefer James Jones to there #1 receiver, least of all the Vikings.

  44. Soulman45 says: Jun 27, 2011 5:32 PM

    @dlk81
    No way your comment hold water.
    What you should have said.
    Weed out the have not for the rich.
    A person with a good heart would never say that.

  45. dlk81 says: Jun 27, 2011 7:42 PM

    @soulman45
    I did not say anything about weeding out kids, that was someone else replying to my original post.

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