Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly went back to school this semester, but both players were in Charlotte on Monday for the start of the Panthers’ offseason workouts.
Newton, the third-year quarterback, and Kuechly, the middle linebacker entering his second season, are enrolled at Auburn and Boston College, respectively. Both are working with their professors and academic advisors to finish the semester without missing significant time in the Panthers’ offseason program.
Newton will be in Charlotte this week before returning to Auburn next week, his father, Cecil Newton, said Monday.
Offseason workouts in the NFL are voluntary by rule. But having the two young standouts – each a top-10 pick who was an Associated Press Rookie of the Year – in attendance should be beneficial for a Panthers’ team that has gone 13-19 in coach Ron Rivera’s first two seasons.
The first two weeks of the offseason program consist of strength and conditioning exercises, and physical therapy for injured players. The Panthers will hold 10 OTA (organized team activities) sessions in May and June, and a mandatory minicamp for veterans June 11-13.
Newton, who spent one year at Auburn after stints at Florida and Blinn (Texas) Junior College, resumed work on his sociology degree in January. Kuechly, who left Boston College after his junior season, is finishing his marketing degree.
Cecil Newton said his son should be able to complete his degree requirements next spring.
Newton said in February his return to campus was “a circus,” with students asking for autographs and, in one instance, a date. Cecil Newton said initially “it was something of a reality check” for his son to be back in a classroom for the first time in two years.
“It has its challenges. As a student, you have to put your work in. … You’ve got to be in class at a certain time. Assignments are due certain dates,” the elder Newton said. “I think it was a great gesture by him to try to finish this thing out.”
Kuechly said in a February interview that he was living in a friend’s dorm room and was able to maintain a low profile on campus.
RIVERA NAMED TO SUBCOMMITTEE: Rivera is one of four coaches appointed to the subcommittee of the competition committee by commissioner Roger Goodell, the league announced Monday. Rivera, Atlanta coach Mike Smith, Minnesota’s Leslie Frazier and Miami’s Joe Philbin are the new members of the eight-person subcommittee, chaired by Hall of Fame coach John Madden.
The subcommittee meets regularly via conference call to discuss player safety, competitive issues, coaching and personnel development and technology innovations.
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