Tag Archives: reform

Knight Commission Addresses Concussion Issue at College Sports Summit

The Knight Commission, a group devoted to the reform of collegiate athletics, reacted “to a presentation from NCAA Chief Medical Officer Brian Hainline” at a meeting earlier this month by “reasserting its long-held principle that the health and safety of college athletes must be primary concerns of universities.”

Further, The Commission called on Division I leaders “to ensure adequate resources are devoted to this area and for universities to fully participate in the NCAA’s medical data collection for athletes.”

Hainline, who was the featured speaker, updated members on the recently announced agreement between the NCAA and the U.S. Department of Defense to launch a $30 million initiative designed to provide the most comprehensive national data on the effects of concussion. Hainline also outlined new health and safety guidelines and future initiatives “to address cardiac and mental health, athlete drug and alcohol use, and the detrimental health impacts of early specialization in a particular sport.”

“Dr. Hainline’s presentation was eye-opening,” said Commission Co-Chairman William E. “Brit” Kirwan, chancellor of the University System of Maryland, “particularly given the breadth of health and safety concerns beyond just concussion.”

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The United States of Football Documentary Is in Theaters Now

The United States of Football opened in select theaters across the country yesterday.

The movie follows Sean Pamphilon – a father, football fan and filmmaker – as he struggles with the question, “Should I let my kid play?”

With insider access to coaches, players and healthcare professionals, Pamphilon’s film documents “a dark side of the game – increasing incidence of brain damage, dementia and slow death resulting from repetitive head trauma among professional athletes.” The United States of Football takes an intimate first-hand look into the lives of players – “once vigorous men with everything to live for, as they lose their minds, their functions and their lives. MRI’s, autopsies and medical research leave little doubt that Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is a risk for many athletes.”

The United States of Football ends in pain and hope – some football legends wither away leaving angry and grieving families; others bravely continue fighting to reform football. Since it all started with kids, The United States of Football examines football coaching and training from Pee Wees to the pros and “looks at the steps that can be taken to protect players and ensure both the excitement and integrity of football.”

In conjunction with the movie, audiences can expect in-theater appearances from legendary football stars as well as a live Question and Answer Session with the filmmaker and featured former players opening night. A portion of box office proceeds will go to the Kevin Turner Foundation and the Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund.

Theaters the documentary is being shown in can be found here:


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Texas Politician Seeks Limits on Full-Contact Practices During Football Season

Texas State Rep. Eddie Lucio III, D-Brownsville, is rapidly becoming the go-to-guy when it comes to concussion reform in his state.

Most recently, Lucio filed legislation that would reduce violent collisions in high school and middle school football by restricting full-contact practices during the season to just once a week.

The University Interscholastic League, which governs extracurricular activities for Texas’ public schools, already limits full-contact practices during the off-season. Lucio believes that is not enough.

As evidence, he cites a Purdue University study, which found that repeated blows to the head still change brain activity, even if individually none of the hits would have caused a concussion.

“If you don’t allow a muscle or bone to heal, it’s going to break,” he said. “The same thing is relative to the brain. It can only heal itself at a certain rate, and any additional hits could cause more damage.”

Some high school coaches, however, told the Austin American-Statesman that fewer full-contact practices could actually increase concussion risks, since players may need repetition when it comes to using a safe tackling technique.

“If you only practice those (fundamentals) once a week, you are moving in the opposite direction of what logic would tell you,” Joe Willis, head football coach and athletic coordinator at Cedar Park High School, told the paper. “A kid can’t learn without the experimentation phase.”

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