ACC, USA Football Continue Landmark Partnership Strengthening Football on Grassroot Levels

Nov. 30, 2011

Charlotte, N.C. (theACC.com) - The Atlantic Coast Conference and USA Football have partnered to strengthen youth football through concussion education, teaching football fundamentals and building U.S. National Teams in a burgeoning international sport.

Prior to the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game on Saturday in Charlotte, N.C., USA Football will host a free USA Football FUNdamentals clinic as part of the ACC Youth Football Celebration, a fun skills-and-drills clinic designed to teach football basics to youth players. Nearly 1,000 children are expected to attend the clinic, which will take place at the Carolina Panthers’ practice facility from 4-7 p.m. Other partners of the ACC Youth Football Celebration include Dick’s Sporting Goods, EA Sports, NCAA Football 12 and FUEL Pizza.

The groundbreaking ACC-USA Football partnership, established this season, is the only one of its kind in college football. USA Football, the sport’s national governing body in the United States, is the ACC’s official football development partner.

USA Football has educated more than 70,000 volunteer youth football coaches across the country through training events and online coaching courses, which cover teaching the sport’s fundamentals and player safety, including concussion awareness. USA Football members reside in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. ACC assets inform America’s youth football community of exciting and educational USA Football-produced resources.

Throughout the regular season, select games on the ACC Network and its pregame show, “ACC Blitz,” aired

USA Football’s Put Pride Aside for Player Safety message, directing youth football coaches to remove a player from a game or practice if concussion is suspected. USA Football’s Put Pride Aside video message and its other player health videos reside on the ACC’s website, www.theacc.com and via ACC social media outlets. USA Football’s Football and Wellness Committee, which is committed to the safety and development of America’s 3 million youth football players, aims to be bolstered by coaches of ACC football programs.

In addition, select ACC football programs could host USA Football’s U.S. Under-19 National Team player trials. The U.S. Under-19 team competes every February in the International Bowl, an annual competition matching it against a World Team composed of players age 19 and under from approximately one dozen countries.

“Our partnership with USA Football is a terrific fit,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “The ACC and our member institutions continue to be committed to the health and well-being of youth athletes. Our young people gain lasting benefits when we introduce them to the fun, excitement and inherent values of football with USA Football’s support.”

“We’re proud to have the ACC be part of the USA Football family,” said USA Football Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck. “The work that we’ve done together this season – and will continue to build upon – holds significant value for America’s youth and high school football community.”

About the 2011 Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game: The 2011 Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game will be played December 3, at 8 p.m. at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium and will feature Atlantic Division Champion Clemson against Coastal Division Champion Virginia Tech. Tickets for the game are sold out. For all ACC Football Championship Game and ticket information visit the league’s official website at www.theACC.com or www.ACCFootballCharlotte.com.  The game will be nationally televised on ESPN and ESPN 3-D. The official Twitter hashtag for the event is #ACCfcg