The NFL Players Association, the union representing active NFL players, announced the creation today of The Trust, a program dedicated to assisting players in their transition away from professional football.
The Trust is designed to provide support for former players across six broad categories — including career transition and development, education and entrepreneurship, financial literacy, personal interaction, and brain and body health — and has brought in major partners to assist with the project, including Tulane University.
Tulane, through its School of Medicine and Institute of Sports Medicine, is one of three medical partners that will support The Trust’s Brain and Body Program by providing former players with medical evaluations and care.
“We are excited about the opportunity to help take care of former players who have given so much in their athletic careers,” said Dr. Gregory Stewart, executive director of The Trust program at Tulane University. “We'll be a resource for full head-to-toe medical evaluations and ongoing support from a team committed to helping them develop and maintain a healthy brain and body.”
The other two medical providers are the Cleveland Clinic and the University of North Carolina.
“We are excited to begin the important work of serving the former NFL player community,” said Bahati VanPelt, the Executive Director of The Trust, in a press release. “Together with our partners, our staff and former player leadership, we can begin to address the important issues that face NFL players when they transition out of professional football.”
The Trust is paid for through a fund set aside by the players’ union and the league through their collective bargaining agreement.
Players with two or more seasons in the league are eligible for the program, and enrollees will be guided through the program by case managers that include two former NFL players.
Tulane is already one of five institutions around the country, and the only one in the Gulf South, involved in the NFL’s Neurological Care Program for retired players. The program provides comprehensive brain and spinal function evaluations and individual treatment plans.
“Tulane will utilize staff in neurology, sports medicine, psychology and speech therapy to offer a unique, holistic approach in helping patients recover and effectively manage their conditions,” Stewart said in a statement when the Neurological Care Program launched last year.
This article has been updated.