NFL and NATA Announce Funding for ‘Team Up for Sports Safety’

4 Years Ago (10/27/2019 9:00 AM EST)

​Korey Stringer Institute to Lead Advocacy Efforts for High School Sports Best-Practice Policies

NEW YORK (October 10, 2019) – The NFL Foundation and the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) today announced contributions to support Team Up for Sports Safety (TUFSS). The Korey Stringer Institute (KSI)-led initiative will drive the adoption of policies proven to reduce sports injuries. As part of this effort, KSI will host meetings this week in Maryland and Delaware with local high school sports leaders and state legislators. These meetings will continue throughout the year with plans to reach all 50 states.

The TUFSS initiative builds on research published by KSI in 2017 which examined existing state mandates to assess their inclusion of best-practice policy recommendations for catastrophic injuries in sport. KSI found that many state policies do not include even the most widely-accepted standards. For example, data shows more than 90 percent of sports-related deaths among secondary school athletes are due to cardiac arrest, exertional heat stroke, traumatic brain injuries and exertional sickling, a medical emergency occurring in athletes that carry the sickle cell trait. Simple, cost-effective strategies can prevent nearly all deaths, but currently no state meets 100 percent of the minimum best-practice standards.

"It is with great excitement that the Korey Stringer Institute (KSI) at the University of Connecticut, with substantial financial support from the NFL Foundation and the NATA announces the official formation of TUFSS- Team Up for Sports Safety," said KSI Chief Executive Officer, DR. DOUGLAS CASA. "Recently KSI conducted an evaluation of all 50 states to see where each stood with essential safety policies to prevent sudden death in high school sports. The TUFSS initiative is passionately focused on working to get every state to adopt minimum standards for best practices so that the health and safety of the high school athlete becomes an area of focus."

"It is part of our mission to advance the health and well-being of student athletes," said NFL Executive Vice President of Player Health and Safety Innovations, JEFF MILLER. "As a part of our own efforts to evolve the game, the NFL shares information about changes we have made on and off the field to improve player protection for all sports at every level. We are proud to offer the league's support of this important effort."

"We believe wholeheartedly that every youth and secondary school sports leader and state legislator wants to improve safety in sport," said NATA President TORY LINDLEY, MA, ATC. "Most of us connected to sports are parents, therefore, this issue hits very close to home. TUFSS brings together sports leaders and influencers to discuss and implement policies to reduce injury in sports."

# # #

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, safety and wellness of athletes, youth football and the communities that support our game. For more information on the NFL Foundation, visit:

About KSI:

The Korey Stringer Institute (KSI) is housed in the Department of Kinesiology within the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources at the University of Connecticut (UConn). UConn's Department of Kinesiology has a strong tradition and reputation as one of the leading institutions studying health and safety issues for athletes and the physically active. The mission of KSI is to provide research, education, advocacy and consultation to maximize performance, optimize safety and prevent sudden death for the athlete, warfighter and laborer. For more information, visit:

About NATA: National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) – Health Care for Life & Sport
Athletic trainers are health care professionals who specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of injuries and sport-related illnesses. They prevent and treat chronic musculoskeletal injuries from sports, physical and occupational activity, and provide immediate care for acute injuries. Athletic trainers offer a continuum of care that is unparalleled in health care. The National Athletic Trainers' Association represents and supports 45,000 members of the athletic training profession. For more information, visit

Media Contact:

Kelsey Boyd,

For more from NFL Communication​s, visit and follow @NFL345.