The National Football League Foundation announced on Monday at the NFL Owners' Meetings that they approved a $45 million grant to be given to USA Football for the growth of youth football. The foundation, which Steelers' President Art Rooney II is on the board of, will provide funding for USA Football over the next five years.
USA Football is the official youth football development partner of the NFL and will use the grant for their "Heads Up Football" program, as well as NFL Punt, Pass & Kick, and NFL Flag programs.
"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 Scott Hallenbeck, executive director of USA Football. "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."
The NFL sent out an email letter from former Steelers Coach Bill Cowher, a member of the "Heads Up Football" advisory committee, regarding the grant.
"Heads Up Football is a comprehensive youth and high school football membership program developed by USA Football and supported by the NFL and other leaders in sport and medicine to advance player safety," said Cowher's letter. "The key components are coaching education and certification, concussion recognition and awareness, heat and hydration, and proper tackling techniques.
"I am a member of the Heads Up Football Advisory Committee, have participated in a Heads Up Football clinic, and strongly endorse the program. It's a better, safer way to play the game."