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Five-Part Series Featured on ‘NFL Total Access’, ‘NFL AM’, ‘Inside Training Camp’ & NFL.com Monday, July 28 – Friday, August 1
Examines Five Heads Up Football Locations Spanning All Levels of the Sport in Arlington (TX), Philadelphia (PA), Glendale (AZ), Norman (OK) & Canton (OH)
Leading up to the start of the 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame weekend, NFL Network presents Heads Up Across America, a five-part, multi-city series showcasing the impact and reach of USA Football’s Heads Up Football program.
Premiering Monday, July 28 and airing through Friday, August 2 Heads Up Across America features NFL Network’s Melissa Stark interacting with players and parents, taking part in demonstrations, and interviewing special guests at various Heads Up Football locations and events. Each edition of Heads Up Across America features stories from players of all age ranges, including youth, high school, and college athletes, as well as Hall of Famers.
NFL, CLASS COUNSEL JOINT STATEMENT ON FILING OF REVISED SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
The National Football League and counsel for the retired player plaintiffs announced today a revised settlement agreement in the NFL concussion litigation pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. In the revised agreement the NFL’s obligations under the monetary award fund will not be capped at any specified amount. This means that once the compensation program is established funds will be available to any retired player who develops a qualifying neurocognitive condition.
The revised settlement agreement is the result of several months of intensive work under the supervision of presiding Judge Anita B. Brody and the Court’s special master, Perry Golkin. The parties are grateful to Judge Brody and Special Master Golkin for their guidance in helping to reach the agreement submitted for preliminary approval today.
Consistent with the settlement announced last year, the revised agreement provides a wide range of benefits to retired NFL players and their families, including a separate fund to offer all eligible retirees a comprehensive medical exam and follow-up benefits, and an injury compensation fund for retirees who have suffered cognitive impairment, including dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or ALS. Where the retiree is deceased or unable to pursue his claim, a family member may do so on his behalf. While actuarial estimates from both parties supported the $765 million settlement that was announced in August, this new agreement will ensure funds are available to any eligible retired player who develops a compensable injury.
“This agreement will give retired players and their families immediate help if they suffer from a qualifying neurocognitive illness, and provide peace of mind to those who fear they may develop a condition in the future,” said co-lead plaintiffs’ counsel Christopher Seeger and Sol Weiss. “This settlement guarantees that these benefits will be there if needed, and does so without years of litigation that may have left many retired players without any recourse.”
“Today’s agreement reaffirms the NFL’s commitment to provide help to those retired players and their families who are in need, and to do so without the delay, expense and emotional cost associated with protracted litigation. We are eager to move forward with the process of court approval and implementation of the settlement,” said NFL Senior Vice President Anastasia Danias.
The agreement also provides that the NFL will set aside $10 million for education on concussion prevention, as well as pay the costs of providing notice to the class and for administration of the settlement. If the Court grants preliminary approval, retired players will be formally notified of the settlement, with a final approval hearing likely to occur later this year.
Grant Will Support Youth Football Programs Including Heads Up Football, NFL FLAG
The National Football League Foundation has approved a $45 million grant to USA Football to support the growth of youth football, it was announced today. The grant will provide funding for USA Football over the next five years.
SCOTT HALLENBECK, executive director of USA Football, accepted the grant today from NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL and NFL Foundation chairman CHARLOTTE JONES ANDERSON at the NFL Annual Meeting in Orlando.
USA Football, the official youth football development partner of the NFL and its 32 teams, will use the grant to support youth and high school football through its Heads Up Football, NFL Punt, Pass & Kick, and NFL FLAG programs.
The funds will help bring Heads Up Football to all 10,000 youth football leagues across the country. In the first year of Heads Up Football in 2013, more than 2,700 youth leagues registered for the program, representing approximately 600,000 players and 90,000 coaches. The NFL Foundation grant will expand Heads Up Football to the high school level, providing continuity in fundamentals, terminology, and health and safety protocols from the youth to the high school level. USA Football piloted Heads Up Football in 35 high schools in 10 states in 2013.
Additionally, USA Football will grow the NFL FLAG and NFL Punt, Pass & Kick programs. NFL FLAG powered by USA Football is the premier youth flag football league for boys and girls ages 5-17. A program of NFL PLAY 60, FLAG provides young players with an opportunity to play non-contact football and learn lessons about sportsmanship and teamwork, while also getting their 60 minutes of daily physical activity. More than 220,000 boys and girls ages 5-17 currently participate in NFL FLAG. NFL Punt, Pass & Kick, which began in 1961, is the nation’s largest grassroots sports skills competition.
“The NFL Foundation is committed to enhancing our great game at all levels,” said Jones Anderson. “USA Football is a leader through its innovative work in youth and high school football development, and we are pleased to support their important work.”
Heads Up Football is a comprehensive youth and high school football membership program developed by USA Football and supported by the NFL and more than two dozen medical, child advocacy and sport organizations. The initiative was launched in 2013 with a $1.5 million grant from the NFL Foundation. The core elements of the program are: coaching certification, the teaching of proper techniques, player safety coaches, proper equipment fitting, concussion and health education, and parental involvement.
“The NFL Foundation’s generous support of USA Football allows us to grow our programs and further establish important standards rooted in education for the well-being of our young athletes,” said Hallenbeck. “We value this strong sign of trust in our nonprofit office. These funds will be put to use for the benefit of the more than 5.5 million youth and high school athletes who enjoy the fun and other benefits of playing football.”
Spring is the start of Heads Up Football registration for the 2014 youth football season. To learn more, visit http://www.usafootball.com/headsup.
Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Foundation Chairman Charlotte Jones Anderson presenting $45 million grant to USA Football’s Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck
About the NFL Foundation: The National Football League Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of those touched by the game of football – from players at all levels to communities across the country. The NFL Foundation represents the 32 NFL clubs and supports the health and safety of athletes, youth football, and the communities which support our game. For more information on The NFL Foundation, visit: http://www.NFLFoundation.org.
About USA Football: Indianapolis-based USA Football is the sport’s national governing body, leading the game’s development for youth, high school and other amateur football players. The independent nonprofit works with medical organizations and football leaders for a better, safer game and is the official youth football development partner of the NFL, its 32 teams and the NCAA’s Atlantic Coast Conference. USA Football (www.usafootball.com), endowed by the NFL and NFLPA in 2002, is the sport’s leader in coaching education and player skill advancement