UofSC and MLS announce multi-year partnership

University of South Carolina President Bob Caslen.
University of South Carolina President Bob Caslen.(File)
Updated: Apr. 14, 2021 at 11:09 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The University of South Carolina and Major League Soccer have announced a multi-year partnership making South Carolina an Official Education Partner of MLS.

Through the partnership, MLS players and former players will have access to online educational opportunities and unique post-secondary academic resources offered through the university system, as well as world-class personal and professional development.

“The University of South Carolina is a leader in modernizing higher education. We are thrilled to partner with them to deliver benefits to MLS players and executives for many years to come,” said Gary Stevenson, MLS Deputy Commissioner, President and Managing Director of MLS Business Ventures.

The partnership will enable current MLS players, former MLS players and MLS esports players, and staff to pursue higher-education through customized degree programs that address the unique needs of professional athletes. It will also provide a pathway for higher education for future MLS stars, specifically programming and resources for MLS Academy and MLS NEXT players. MLS club and League office staff will have the ability to pursue higher education opportunities through the partnership as well.

“At the University of South Carolina, we are committed to increasing access to higher education for all students — including students whose lives have interrupted or otherwise prevented them from fulfilling their educational goals in a traditional resident model,” said the University of South Carolina President Bob Caslen.

MLS personnel will be subject to a tuition fee for enrolling. It’s unclear how many members will enroll, but Stevenson said there is great interest within the league.

MLS in turn will provide exclusive learning opportunities and experiences to University of South Carolina students.

The agreement also includes several community-based initiatives aimed at supporting marginalized communities and civic engagement, in addition to leadership development training.

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