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Publish date: Mar 17, 2011

NCAA, Homeland Security announce new awareness campaign

The NCAA on Thursday announced a partnership with the Department of Homeland Security to encourage fans attending March Madness events to report suspicious activity.

“If You See Something, Say Something” is a national campaign that asks citizens to remain vigilant, especially at high-profile events and locations.

NCAA President Mark Emmert and DHS Security Secretary Janet Napolitano have recorded a public-service announcement that will run at all winter championships with video boards. The NFL, NBA, National Hockey League and Major League Baseball have supported the public-awareness campaign at their games and events.

“We are delighted to have a partnership with the Secretary and the Office of Homeland Security to try and be helpful in their very, very vital role in providing security to all of our citizens,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said at a Washington, D.C., news conference with Napolitano.

“Our No. 1 priority for March Madness is to make sure that the games are safe for everyone and this partnership is part of that effort,” Napolitano said.

Security at the games has always been a priority for the NCAA, but the rapid growth of the Final Four in recent years has prompted the Association to critically assess security practices and scale procedures to fit the constantly evolving environment.

Stressing no current threat against the games, the Secretary called the security plan for the men’s basketball tournament “top-notch.”