The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the first NFL team to establish a college scholarship program for female high school football players.
A $250,000 commitment from the team's foundation was announced Thursday and is open to all female seniors nationwide who participate in a formally sanctioned flag or tackle football program.
"In the state of Florida alone, we have 260 sanctioned girls flag football teams, yet there are no scholarship opportunities for those female athletes after high school that help reduce the burden of their college tuition," said Darcie Glazer Kassewitz, a Buccaneers owner and president of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation and Glazer Family Foundation.
"We wanted to fill that void by creating a scholarship program that would reward young women for their academic success as well as encourage them to play football."
Applicants must have plans to enroll in a full-time accredited four-year college or university and have earned a minimum 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) during their high school academic career. The inaugural round of awards will be distributed at the conclusion of the 2020 academic school year.
The scholarship program is the Buccaneers' latest initiative to increase participation by girls and young women in football.
In 2018, the team partnered with the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation department to launch the Jr. Bucs Girls Flag Football League. Last March, the Buccaneers hosted the nation's largest girls flag football event with more than 40 teams and 1,000 girls participating.
--Field Level Media