NU joins 'It Gets Better' project

Northwestern has become the first college athletic department to join the "It Gets Better Project," which was designed to provide hope for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other bullied teens.

Northwestern contributed to the project by creating a video to support the organization's mission. The video includes messages from athletic director Jim Phillips and a number of players and coaches.

"We are excited to join with the "It Gets Better Project" to take a stand against bullying," Phillips said in a statement. "As a university and an athletic department, Northwestern takes great pride in celebrating each and every one of the unique individuals at our institution, whether they be students or staff. Bullying of anyone for any reason is not acceptable, and we hope others will use their voices to stand with us."

The "It Gets Better Project" has been supported by a number of professional sports teams.

The project was created by syndicated columnist Dan Savage and his partner, Terry, in response to the growing number of teens who have committed suicide after being bullied.

Scott Powers covers high school and college sports for ESPNChicago.com and can be reached at spowers@espnchicago.com.