KU's Thorson Speaks At NCAA Convention

Jan. 12, 2011

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Kansas football senior Brad Thorson participated in a panel at this week’s NCAA Convention in San Antonio, Texas Wednesday. The panel was titled “How to Overcome Adversity from Diverse Perspectives.

Other members of the panel included the athletic director at California-Berkeley, the president of Grinnell College and a member of the NCAA legal team.

The panel spoke to an audience of approximately 100 people attending the convention. The group included school presidents to senior women’s administrators to graduate assistants in athletic departments.

Thorson said he spoke about the maturation process provided in college athletics and how he faced a lot of uncertain situations after transferring to Kansas from Wisconsin.

“I realized that I can’t plan what is going to happen next in my life and that you need to take each opportunity as it comes,” Thorson said. “I talked about the maturation process that college athletics offers. You come in as an 18-year old with a big ego, but you don’t really know who you are and then you leave college with an understanding of who you are. You confront different issues that others may not face. Athletics is a business and it is a very competitive setting.”

Thorson said the people in Kansas definitely helped with his transition. “The growing up process of leaving Wisconsin and coming to Kansas, where everyone has an open door policy and everyone was happy to see me here and help me, made my life easier,” Thorson said.

Thorson ran into a few travel issues on his way to speak as he missed his connecting flight to San Antonio out of Phoenix Tuesday. He was told he could get to Austin Tuesday night, but probably couldn’t get connected to San Antonio until late afternoon Wednesday when he was supposed to speak early in the day Wednesday.

While trying to figure out how to get to San Antonio after arriving in Austin Tuesday night, a pair of Department of Defense investigators overheard Thorson’s situation and offered him a ride to San Antonio. Thanks to their efforts Thorson made it to the convention in time.

Thorson, who was a two-year starter on the offensive line at Kansas was recognized on and off the field in 2010. Among his honors were being named to the Big 12 Community of Champions, academic all-district first team, academic all-Big 12 first team and Allstate AFCA Good Works Team nominee. He was the KU offensive player of the week vs. Nebraska.