Forte - best known as one of the members of the multi-platinum group, The Fugees - talked about his rise to the top of the music world in the 1990s and his fall to a Texas federal penitentiary in 2001. Forte was sentenced to 14 years in prison for drug trafficking. He served nearly seven years before his sentence was later commuted by President George W. Bush in 2008.
Mainly focusing on his story without preaching to the student-athletes, Forte talked about how one wrong decision can have a huge impact on their lives. Despite never being in trouble with the law before, he received the mandatory minimum of 14 years for his crime. He never made excuses, never blamed anyone else, but he did make those in attendance think about their actions and decisions.
"It was very interesting to hear what he had to say," stated junior defensive back and team captain D.J. Key. "He is a very smart guy and he makes you think. His story shows that no matter what is going on in your life, one wrong choice can have big consequences."
The evening wasn't all serious and helped to break up the monotony of camp. Forte mixed in little stories about his experiences in the music industry, along with a number of songs that he performed for the team. With the last of three two-a-days tomorrow, the Mocs used the laid back event to unwind after 10 straight days of practice.
Former Moc John Murphy introduced Forte to the team. Murphy and Forte have become close friends over the last few years.
"I think it is great to bring in someone like John," stated head coach Russ Huesman. "He has a great message and he really connected with our guys. It is a good break from camp, but most importantly, it is good for our guys to get to hear from someone like that. We really appreciate Murph for setting this up and making it happen."
UTC is back on Scrappy Moore Field at the Murphy-Haugerud Football Practice Complex Tuesday morning at 7:45 a.m. (E.D.T.). The evening practice starts at 6:45 p.m. at Scrappy. All practices are open to the public and fans are encouraged to make the short trek down the Tennessee Riverwalk to check out the Mocs.
This is a busy week for the football team. The first Chat with the Mocs radio show with Coach Huesman and the Voice of the Mocs Jim Reynolds is set for Wednesday, Aug. 15. The show airs live from Jefferson's (618 Georgia Ave.) at 6:00 p.m. on ESPN Radio 105.1 FM and online on GoMocs.com. Coach Huesman will throw out the first pitch at the Mocs Night at the Lookouts on Thursday, Aug. 16, and Meet the Mocs presented by Blood Assurance is set for Saturday, Aug. 18.
Chattanooga opens the season on Sept. 1 with a trip to South Florida. Kick-off is set for 7:00 p.m. (E.D.T.) against the Bulls and the game will broadcast on ESPN3. The home opener is Thursday, Sept. 13, at 7:00 p.m. against Glenville State. Season tickets are on sale now by calling the UTC Ticket Office at (423) 266-MOCS (6627) or on GoMocs.com.