Profile of a CAVNET Member: Don McPherson

A native of West Hempstead, New York, Don McPherson was a two sport college All-American athlete (football and track). He attended Syracuse University from 1983-88. While at Syracuse, he played quarterback and compiled 22 school records. In 1987, he led the nation in passing and Syracuse University to an undefeated record. McPherson is a consensus All-American selection and winner of over 18 national Player of the Year honors, including the McLovell Award (as the nation’s top collegiate player), the Dave O’Brien Award, the Johnny Unitas Award (nation’s outstanding quarterback), and was runner-up to Tim Brown of Notre Dame in the Heisman Trophy voting.
McPherson spent two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL. In 1990, he began playing with the Houston Oilers. He also played in Canada for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (1991-93) and Ottawa Rough-Riders (1994).

McPherson joined Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society in November of 1995 as Co-Director for the Center’s new program “Athletes in Service to America.” This program, based at four colleges and universities nationally, addresses violence prevention issues and provides academic tutoring to young people from the elementary level through high school. Athletes in Service employs former student-athletes to provide service to young people in surrounding communities. McPherson is currently the Director of Sport in Society’s “Mentors in Violence Prevention Program,” MVP, designed to encourage men to take a proactive position in the effort to stop men’s violence against women.

McPherson has been a spokesperson for a variety of causes both in Canada and the U.S. He has appeared on the Phil Donahue Show and ABC’s Nightline to discuss athletes, domestic violence, and racism in professional football. He also co-hosts “Sports Saturday” on WBZ radio in Boston.

Don is a member of CAVNET’s Advisory Board.