NFL and NCAA Partner to Provide Youth Football Student-Athletes with Educational Resources

The National Football League and the National Collegiate Athletic Association announced today a partnership to help middle and high school students better understand the pathways to play college football.

As part of the NFL’s Play Football initiative, the NCAA Eligibility Center will work collaboratively to educate students on the benefits, process, and health and safety requirements to reach the playing field at the Division I or Division II levels.

As part of the NFL’s community engagement programs sponsored by each of the league’s 32 clubs, this collaborative effort, titled “Get in the Game!”, will provide information and experience to students interested in participating in all levels of football, from little league football to the NFL. Through various community events, the NCAA Eligibility Center will work with the NFL to provide online, onsite and interactive resources on the importance of education and good study habits. The information will be available to students as they progress through their middle and high school years and ensure they have the opportunity to explore and discover the fun and benefits of playing football.

This collaboration between the NCAA, the NFL’s Play Football initiative and all 32 clubs can benefit over three million middle and high school students in the United States who participate annually in tackle and flag football.

“We are excited to collaborate with the NCAA to provide the best educational resources to our youth and high school student-athletes,” said Roman Oben, NFL Vice President of Football Development. “This collaboration ensures players at all levels are well equipped with the information that they need to succeed on and off the field. We want to see student-athletes achieve their goals.”

Each year, the NCAA Eligibility Center reaches nearly eight million high school student-athletes. Of those, over 25,000 high-school students are certified by the Eligibility Center to play football at Division I or II levels.

“Our partnership with the NFL’s Play Football initiative and the NFL teams’ community engagement programs is a win all around. Through collaboration at these events, we will reach students interested in playing at the collegiate level even sooner, emphasizing the importance of their performance in the classroom as well as on the field,” said Mike Massa, Managing Director of External Affairs for the NCAA Eligibility Center. “Because academic performance starting in ninth-grade counts toward NCAA academic certification, ensuring that students and their families understand NCAA academic requirements is key to making informed decisions as they pursue the dream of a college degree while playing NCAA football.”

For more information, please visit

Roy Kessel

Roy Kessel

Roy Kessel is the Founder of the Sports Philanthropy Network. Roy has worked in the sports business world for over 20 years including serving as an instructor in Northwestern University's graduate Sports Management Program. Having served as a sports lawyer representing athletes, entrepreneurs and start-up businesses, Roy has extensive experience helping organizations improve their strategy, marketing, communications and leadership development.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email