July 27, 2011
Center Valley, Pa. - The Patriot League has partnered with USA Football, the sport's national governing body in the United States, to promote a national campaign titled "Put Pride Aside for Player Safety" to emphasize concussion awareness in youth sports.
The Patriot League becomes the first Football Championship Subdivision conference to work with USA Football, and joins the Mid-American and Atlantic Coast Conferences as Division I leagues that promote the campaign along with the NFL.
The Patriot League and its schools will showcase educational videos, promotional fliers, web and gameday ads and PSAs promoting the USA Football campaign.
Through television, radio and website media placements, "Put Pride Aside for Player Safety" continues USA Football's commitment toward youth sport concussion education and management. USA Football has helped train more than 70,000 youth football coaches in all 50 states since 2007.
USA Football has worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to promote concussion awareness and education among America's youth sports community since 2007. In 2010, 14 additional sports organizations followed USA Football to work with the CDC in a national youth sports concussion education poster campaign: US Lacrosse, US Skiing, US Snowboarding, USA Baseball, USA Basketball, USA Cycling, USA Diving, USA Field Hockey, USA Hockey, USA Roller Sports, USA Rugby, USA Skateboarding, USA Softball and USA Volleyball.
Concussions may occur in any sport or activity, so it's imperative that coaches recognize concussion signs and symptoms. A player who "toughs it out" and continues to play any sport with concussion symptoms risks serious injury. If a coach suspects that a player has suffered a concussion, that athlete should be removed from play - no matter how it affects a coach's pride or game plan. An athlete should not return to the play until cleared by a medical professional. Remember: When in doubt, sit them out.
USA Football, the sport's national governing body in the United States, leads the game's development, inspires participation and ensures a positive experience for all youth, high school and other amateur players. The independent non-profit hosts more than 80 football training events annually for coaches, players and youth football league commissioners. Indianapolis-based USA Football is the official youth football development partner of the NFL, its 32 teams and the NFL Players Association and manages U.S. national teams for international competition. Endowed by the NFL and NFLPA in 2002 through the NFL Youth Football Fund, USA Football (usafootball.com) distributes $1 million annually in equipment grants and offers youth league volunteer background check subsidies. Former NFL team executive Carl Peterson is USA Football's chairman.