Athletes have captured the world’s collective imagination throughout history. Now more than ever before, sport’s common thread unites people across the globe and in every culture -- from the Olympics to World Cup Soccer to the Super Bowl. The competitive spirit, the pushing of physical and emotional limits, and the perseverance needed to be a champion are universally admired regardless of the sport or level of play. The benefits of sport extend beyond uniting the collective consciousness for competition’s sake. Its wide-ranging effects are well documented: participation in sport enhances health and academic achievement, improves mental health, supports family life, boosts the economy and instills civic pride.
Much like sport’s ability to cross international boundaries and bring people together, sport is uniquely situated to bring together academic disciplines. Every academic discipline can be applied to sport, and sport offers the opportunity for each academic discipline to gain a deeper understanding of their respective fields.
Yet along with these advantages and opportunities comes special challenges for athletes. The risk of career-ending or life-changing injury is ever present for athletes at all levels. Finances and public image can be a liability if sound advice and expert guidance are not obtained early. Tulane is the only university in the country focusing on all of the challenges that can stand in the way of fulfilling careers and successful lives for athletes at every level of play.
The Center for Sport will draw on the university’s wide-ranging expertise and experience to serve athletes, future sports professionals and society.
The unique medical, legal, financial, and social challenges athletes face only increase as they progress from amateur to professional, but there is a tremendous void in the scientific study of athletes and the impact of sports. The Center for Sport will conduct extensive scientific research on issues critical to the health and well-being of athletes at every stage of their life – from peewee play to intramural sports to post-professional career retirement.
The sports industry goes well beyond the athlete, encompassing a wide range of careers in fields from sports business and law to medicine and public health. Through the A.B. Freeman School of Business, Tulane will develop a Sports Business and Law concentration for undergraduates, as well as a multidisciplinary undergraduate sports major to prepare graduates for work in athletic education, sports health, sports marketing and management, and the non-profit sector.
As the business of sport becomes more sophisticated, the needed skills for working in the industry likewise increase. Navigating the financial, legal, and marketing aspects of the business requires expertise in multiple disciplines. Tulane seeks to prepare current and future professionals to compete in this aggressive environment.
Serve Athletes and the Community
More than ever, the serious, long-lasting repercussions of physical injuries and the role of mental health in the career of athletes are drawing national attention. From the NFL's concussion settlement to the everyday risk of traumatic and repetitive use injuries in athletes, the advanced training and treatment of athletes is more important than ever.
Athletes at the Center for Sport will receive customized training, screening, and medical testing and treatment programs that harness all of Tulane's resources: state-of-the-art technology, scientific research, and clinical expertise.
Amateur and professional athletes are influencers who can affect social change – the same way their product and lifestyle endorsements can affect consumer behavior. Through Tulane's Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship program and the university's relationships with social service agencies, the Center for Sport will create a framework and provide resources, training, and development to steer athletes into community-positive, socially conscious, and social entrepreneurial endeavors.
Athletes are revered more than ever in today’s media-focused world. The influence athletes hold by virtue of their status gives them a unique power to impact public attitudes and actions. When directed toward public service, this power can transform individual lives and ultimately affect large-scale social change. Through the Center for Sport, athletes in every career phase will be given the opportunity to use their power to lift the lives of others. The Center will partner with athletes to provide a platform for contributing to their communities.
Basing the Center for Sport at Tulane provides two unique benefits for athletes. First, because Tulane is a nationally ranked research university, it has the resources to provide trustworthy, unbiased care and advice supported by its sports medicine, business, law, and mental health experts. The Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine will supply its extensive sports medicine diagnostic and treatment expertise to the Center, and the Tulane Sports Law Program and its nationally recognized director will provide guidance on the complex range of legal issues facing athletes. Tulane’s schools of Business, Social Work, Public Health and its Center for Aging will also be key parts of the Center. Second, the research capabilities generated by the university’s experts and facilities create the ability to conduct sophisticated, world-class research about the problems facing athletes. Ultimately, the Center aims to create new ways to treat and prevent athletes’ problems using research designed especially for them. This exceptional synergy created in the Center for Sport will help today’s athletes face their special challenges as they transition into and out of professional sports and will benefit tomorrow’s athletes with new, improved treatment and prevention.
The university’s location in New Orleans places the Center in a premiere sports destination that embraces its own professional teams and hosts the biggest sporting events in the country including eight NCAA Final Fours, three NBA All-Star games, and ten Super Bowls. New Orleans is home to a sports culture backed by a deeply-ingrained belief in enjoying life to its fullest. The Center for Sport’s home at a renowned research institution with sophisticated research capabilities in a sports destination city exclusively positions it to provide unparalleled benefits for the athlete today and well into the future.