FAN Inc., The Foundation for Athletes in Need is a non-profit organization that provides resources to former college athletes who were injured while participating in college athletics and are suffering in some significant way. I am grateful and blessed to be a member of the Board of Directors of this wonderful organization.
Two weekends ago, FAN Inc. had a board meeting and luncheon at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. My wife, Gisele, and I attended. We were hosted by the University of Michigan Letterman’s Club. They provided us with their historic Letterman’s Club Room at the University of Michigan golf course for our events.
The University of Michigan’s catering department provided us with a wonderful lunch. The luncheon was an opportunity to tell many of those involved with athletics at Michigan about FAN Inc. and the board’s vision for this organization.
I was asked to speak on the psychological impact of traumatic sports injuries. Other speakers were Brandi Winans, on the impact of sports injuries on the family members of athletes who suffer severe injuries, and Kurt David, who spoke about the difficulty many athletes, especially injured athletes, face transitioning out of their respective sport.
I was profoundly moved by how the university and many former athletes took us in and treated us so warmly. Athletic Director Dave Brandon has written a letter of endorsement for FAN, and the Letterman’s Club is excited to help out in any way they can. I met alumni, students, coaches, a marketing specialist, faculty, and athletes who were all excited about the vision of FAN.
The University of Michigan places a very high priority on the well-being and care of their students and athletes. Michigan has representatives who work closely with different teams to make sure that student athletes have the resources they need to have a successful college experience. If they need help with life skills, academics, nutrition, counseling, or any other facet of life, they are directed to available resources. Their willingness to look out for the well-being of their student athletes helped those we connected with see the value and the power of FAN Inc. It is clear that the mission of FAN Inc. is vital and important and will have a profound impact on the lives of those athletes we touch.
The “Big House” and Michigan Tradition
The University of Michigan is a wonderful place. It was buzzing with energy about Saturday’s showdown with rival Michigan State. Gisele and I arrived on campus for the game at 9:00am. We wanted to see the campus and facilities and take in the energy on game day. We spent an hour and a half watching and listening to the Michigan band rehearse prior to the game. We attended the Michigan Football Letterman’s Cornbread and Chili Outing prior to the game. Our view from the stadium pavilion allowed us to see both teams enter the stadium and watch the Michigan State band march in. I had tears in my eyes as I watched these rich traditions displayed by each school. [Read more…]