The USOPC and USOPC Collegiate Advisory Council has announced a USOPC College Sports Sustainability Think Tank to examine sustainable, broad-based college sports programming initiatives. The think tank will focus on vulnerabilities facing varsity-level Olympic and Paralympic sports and ideate remedies to ensure lasting opportunities for such sports participation in the future.

“This think tank will be a first-of-its-kind collaboration across the USOPC, National Governing Bodies, collegiate leaders and Team USA athletes,” said Sarah Hirshland, USOPC chief executive officer. “College sports are invaluable for our athletes’ personal and athletic development, and we are grateful for the continued support of the USOPC Collegiate Advisory Council for pioneering this effort with us.”

Together the group will explore sport-specific regulatory adjustments, new revenue options, cost saving mechanisms, sport sponsorship incentives and partnership opportunities across conference and/or national-level programming.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many Olympic and Paralympic sport vulnerabilities at the college level,” said Kevin White, USOPC board member, USOPC CAC chair and Duke University vice president and director of athletics. “Simply put, it is critically important to be creative within this new landscape in order to preserve the collegiate athletics tradition of broad-based programming.”

Chaired by Scott Stricklin, University of Florida athletic director, the think tank members will be assembled and hold initial meetings this fall.

“We need to reimagine the college sports framework and consider sport-specific nuances to help sustain our Olympic sports on campus,” said Stricklin. “Now is the time for new and uncharted levels of partnership and collaboration across collegiate and Olympic and Paralympic stakeholders, and we are ready to get to work.”

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