ATLANTA - NCAA Football is awarding 100 grants to youth football teams nationwide through its youth initiative. The grants, valued at $150,000, will provide each team with NCAA Football collegiate youth jerseys and pants from the team of their choice through Russell Athletic, and recipients also will be considered for free footballs from the official ball provider of NCAA Football, Wilson Sporting Goods.
In its second year, the NCAA Football Youth Initiative received more than 140 applications and increased grants awarded by 12 percent - providing assistance to 100 teams this year, up from 89 teams in 2008. Applicants were required to prove financial need and cite current efforts to involve all youth interested in playing football in their communities. For example, some applicants stated they provide waivers to families who cannot afford to pay the registration costs, while others consider a potential playerâ€™s academic achievements before they can join the team.
"We are so pleased that we could expand the grant program this year as it is a great way for NCAA Football, Russell Athletic and Wilson to give back to youth football teams on a community level," said Bob Vecchione - chair, NCAA Football Youth Initiatives Committee. "By providing youth football players authentic jerseys worn by NCAA Football players, we hope to inspire them to work hard, study hard, practice good sportsmanship and aspire to attend a university after high school."
The NCAA Football Youth Initiative strives to attract more youth participants to the game, provide them with additional motivation to pursue higher education opportunities, help them develop the necessary skills to be successful on and off the field, and help to establish a new base of lifelong NCAA Football fans.
About NCAA Football
NCAA Football USA, Inc. represents a coalition of the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), the Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA), the Football Bowl Association (FBA), the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and the National Football Foundation (NFF) and serves as the collective voice to promote college football.