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The NCAA and Mental Health: A Step in the Right Direction

Darron Cummings/Associated PressMark Emmert at the annual convention of the N.C.A.A. in Indianapolis in January.

Generally around this time every year, the events pertaining to March Madness tends to get overshadowed by the discussions involving the enormous amounts of revenue generated by this annual event for the NCAA.

This annual event is the NCAA's most profitable business, earning roughly $900 million in revenue, most of which comes from the broadcast rights paid by CBS and Time Warner. In 2006, the media companies signed a 14-year, $10.8 Billon deal with the NCAA to secure these rights. 

Although many consider this event modern day slavery due to the free labor that the student-athletes provide, I see this as an opportunity for the NCAA to finally start showing their care and concern for these men and women. (in all sports)

To keep this blog at a reasonable length of words, I will focus on one service that was well overdue. Earlier this month, the NCAA Sport Science Institute announced its latest publication,“Mental Health Best Practices: Inter-Association Consensus Document: Best Practices for Understanding and Supporting Student-Athlete Mental Wellness.”

This was developed and endorsed by 24 of the most prominent medical, mental health, higher education and sports medicine organizations in the country per the NCAA's website.

Although there's no sure way to prevent mental illness, taking steps to control stress, to increase a person's resilience and to boost low self-esteem have proven to be highly effective.

I realize that some expected me to bash the NCAA for their greed and not sharing some of the revenue generated from March Madness with their student-athletes, but I do consider this a step in the right the direction that could lead to better things in the near future for them.

So for now, let's celebrate and for once show this organization some love for providing this much-needed service through their Sport Science Institute (Established in 2013). Let's give them an opportunity to right some of their wrongs committed in the past.

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