National Baseball Hall of Fame, PBATS, Taylor Hooton Foundation Join in Launching Collaborative Study with UMass-Boston to Measure Public Opinion, Beliefs About Steroid Use Among Youth

First Action of Educational Partnership to Inform of Performance-Enhancing Substance Dangers

August 10, 2012

COOPERSTOWN, NY – The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum will collaborate with the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society and the Taylor Hooton Foundation to commission a national survey, to commence this fall, which will measure public understanding on the use of appearance and performance-enhancing substances, including anabolic steroids, among young people. 

The groundbreaking survey, to be designed and managed by the University of Massachusetts-Boston, with assistance from the Gallup organization, is the first initiative of a new association among the Hall of Fame, PBATS and THF that will provide educational programs to inform young athletes, parents and coaches of the dangers of performance-enhancing substances through events around the country. 

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum will formally launch its new national outreach program, “Be A Superior Example,” on Saturday, August 11, with the first of several initiatives designed to promote the message of healthy living. BASE is built upon four foundations for individuals of all ages to follow in pursuit of being a superior example: fitness, nutrition, character and fair play. 

“As one of the first steps of the BASE launch, it is critical for the Hall of Fame to gauge the American public’s understanding of the dangers of performance-enhancing substances and their impact,” said Jeff Idelson, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “Our role as an educational institution is to provide lessons that impact tomorrow’s leaders. By being conducted in collaboration with PBATS and THF, we believe this study will serve to extend the reach of the BASE program and impact millions of lives.” 

The goal of the national survey is to highlight what the average American believes about performance-enhancing substances, and what they should know about these dangerous and deadly substances. The study will provide an opportunity for the Hall of Fame, PBATS and THF to more effectively educate the American people as to what they do not know, but should, about these controlled substances. 

“The objective of this study is to create a national conversation about this problem,” said Neil Romano, Chairman of the Taylor Hooton Foundation and PBATS Executive Board Member. “The study, and the discussion that will follow, will ultimately save lives of those who might otherwise be victims of performance-enhancing substance use.”

The UMass-Boston survey will measure responses to specific questions related to beliefs about performance-enhancing substance use in America. The random sample survey is designed to gather a snapshot of the American people in general, as opposed to one specific group. Within survey data, it is expected that certain subsets will be extracted, including by region, as well as those ages 18 to 25. Survey results are expected to be announced in early 2013. 

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to work on this groundbreaking study of the American people,” said Dr. Gary Siperstein, Director, Center for Social Development and Education, UMass-Boston. “For too long, the issue of steroid use has been discussed in the confines of professional sports and among elite athletes. We believe performance-enhancing substances, and the concerns associated with their use, need to be reinforced to the young people of America, from middle school to college age students.” 

The commissioning of this study represents the first formal collaboration between the Hall of Fame, PBATS and THF, as the three organizations will unveil additional initiatives this fall to further existing educational efforts already taking place in cities and ballparks across the country, hosted by PBATS and THF. 

“We are honored to have the support of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum to help advance our educational messages for athletes, parents, coaches and individuals of all ages about the severe negative impacts performance-enhancing drugs can have on the body and the serious harm their use causes,” said Don Hooton, Founder and President of the Taylor Hooton Foundation. 

This fall, the Hall of Fame, PBATS and THF will host the first of nearly a dozen events that will take place in communities across the country over the next two years. These events will combine the active components of PBATS’ “PLAY” events, with the compelling message of Taylor Hooton Foundation, and the comprehensive BASE messages designed by the Baseball Hall of Fame. 

“Our ability to join PBATS and THF in their existing efforts to reach audiences about the dangers of performance-enhancing substances forms a dynamic partnership of content, outreach and support to reach and influence audiences around the globe, particularly young athletes and children of all ages,” Idelson said. 

The Hall of Fame’s BASE program will launch Saturday, August 11, with a pair of road races – a 5k and 10k – through Cooperstown, designed to promote healthy living. An exhibit, featuring the four foundations of BASE, will also first be available to Museum visitors to experience starting Saturday, featuring two video education programs, developed by K12 Inc, featuring several Hall of Fame members sharing their insight on the right way to live and play the game. 

A national BASE registry will launch in October, as the Hall of Fame encourages everyone to pledge to “Be A Superior Example.” The registry will follow the online K12 Inc-developed programs, and will live in Cooperstown, allowing registrants the opportunity to see their name and pledge alongside the game’s greatest players ever in the Hall of Fame. 

In addition to the online registry and education lessons from Cooperstown, the BASE program will provide for national exposure opportunities to raise the public awareness on the prevalence of PES use in today’s society. More than 350 individuals, corporations, and major league teams, including a significant gift from Major League Baseball, have contributed nearly $600,000 to date to the BASE program. 

Complete information of the BASE program is available through a comprehensive white paper, featuring detailed data on the use of performance-enhancing substances and the fundraising objectives of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, online at www.baseballhall.org/BASE