Category Archives: Football

NFF Board Members ‘Lead the Charge to Find New Insights on Mild Brain Injuries’

The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame highlighted last week the progress made by GE, led by NFF Board Member Jeff Immelt, and the NFL, led by NFF Board Member Roger Goodell, with their $60 million Head Health Initiative, which was launched in March 2013 to speed diagnosis and improve treatment for mild traumatic brain injury.


“College football, a sport that has been played 147 years, has never been safer,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “In the past decade, the awareness of brain injuries has become of paramount concern to everybody. This is certainly true with football, but the concern transcends all sports and into all walks of life from the military to everyday activities. College football has taken numerous steps to address the issue, and we are proud that two of our board members have taken leadership roles in expanding that knowledge, which will benefit not only football and other sports but our entire society.”


The latest results came July 23 with the announcement of the six final winners of the $10 million Head Health Challenge I, whose innovations are advancing the understanding and diagnosis of mild traumatic brain injury. The winners, who each were among 16 first-round organizations that received $300,000 in initial funding, have been awarded an additional $500,000 each to continue their research. Their breakthrough ideas include: point-of-care blood test to rapidly detect the presence of mild and moderate brain trauma; biomarkers that indicate how the brain reacts following a traumatic brain injury (TBI); and a method to identify which brain areas become disconnected after injury.


“What happened on football fields just has created the character, the foundation of a lot of American competitiveness, which has allowed this country to be successful for so many decades,” said NFF Board Member and GE Chairman & CEO Jeff Immelt, who played college football at Dartmouth. “It is such a beautiful game. It is this massive array of strategy, competitiveness, athleticism that I just think it would be the worst tragedy that I could imagine that if we ever allow anything to change this great game.”


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FHSAA Mandates that Athletes Complete Concussion Course

The Florida High School Athletic Association has mandated that all high school athletes in that state complete courses on concussions provided by the National Federation of State High School Associations before being eligible to compete, acccording to a report in the St. Petersburg Times.

The paper, which noted that the courses are free and online, quoted Justin Harrison, the FHSAA’s associate executive director for athletic services, about the rationale for the decision:

“The reason behind the move was student-athlete safety. Overall, all concerned parties felt it was imperative to continue to educate the student-athletes on concussions. … This course was yet another way to provide the information.”

Harrison told the paper that Florida is the first state that requires its student-athletes to complete the course. The measure was passed by the FHSAA Board of Directors in June. The course is available at

To view the article, visit:

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Who’s to Blame for Iowa High School Football Player’s Concussion?

(Editor’s Note: What follows is a brief excerpt from a contributed article in the July 2015 Concussion Litigation Alert. For the rest of the article and numerous others, please subscribe at

By Clayton Hasbrook, of Hasbrook & Hasbrook

The details surrounding high schooler Kacey Strough’s football-related brain injury are tragic. So many things happened to the student that parents and the public never want to see happen to any of our children.

But who is to blame? We all need to think through the answer to that question.

Strough, who lived with his grandmother, was a 16-year-old freshman in Bedford, Iowa, when he first suited up for the high school football team in October 2012. Today, at age 18, he has suffered permanent brain damage, is unable to walk, and uses a wheelchair.

Shortly after he took to the field as a rookie on the Bedford High team, Strough was bullied by fellow teammates, who repeatedly threw footballs at his head from six feet away. Soon after that, Strough began complaining that he was experiencing headaches and double vision. He went to the school nurse to report his symptoms. The youth continued to participate in football practice.

What nobody, not even Strough and his family, knew … (to read the rest of the story, please consider subscribing)

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