03/12/2012 01:05 EDT | Updated 05/12/2012 05:12 EDT

66 NFL players enrol in programs at Harvard and Northwestern

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Pittsburgh Steelers quarterbacks Charlie Batch and Byron Leftwich are among 66 current and former NFL players enrolled in business school programs at Harvard and Northwestern this year.

The program is part of the league's initiative to assist players in preparing for their post-playing careers. Since the program's inception in 2005, more than 700 players have participated.

Former star defensive back Troy Vincent, now the NFL's vice-president of player engagement, attended the program himself. He says it has "assisted players — myself included — and their families in making smarter business decisions while inspiring others to go back to school for an MBA."

The Harvard program runs from March 19-23 and the Northwestern classes are April 1-5.