Each year, across Long Island, thousands of high school students participate in football. However, in the wake of several recent fatalities, these students are hesitant to storm the field.… Read the rest
On January 26, 2011, Democratic lawmakers reintroduced legislation, Protecting Student Athletes from Concussions Act, that would set minimum safety standards for concussion management in public schools across the country.
The legislation would, for the first time, ask school districts to implement a concussion safety and management plan. It would require schools to post information about concussions on school grounds and on school websites. It would also support when in doubt, sit it out policies for students suspected of sustaining a concussion during a school-sponsored athletic activity.
The National Football League (NFL) has endorsed the legislation and is working on similar … Read the rest
Football helmet safety standards are currently set by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE), a nonprofit corporation. The testing method used today is essentially the same as was established in the 1970s. The original goal was to prevent sudden death, skull fractures and brain bleeding in football, a goal that has been achieved. But the hot topic today in football is concussions, an injury todays football helmets cannot eliminate. The NFL acknowledged that the lack of a perfect helmet contributed to its decision to use big fines and the threat of suspensions to cut down on … Read the rest
The sports pages continue to be filled with articles about athletes who suffer concussions and other head injuries. A hot topic this week is the National Hockey Leagues consideration of imposing a rule effective this season – as opposed to next season) – to prohibit shots to players heads from behind or blindside (considering that such contact bears no relation to the skills of playing the game on an individual or team wide basis it seems almost incomprehensible that such hits are presently legal so long as there is no finding of intent to injure).
Now, in what has been … Read the rest
A Dallas Cowboys scouting assistant paralyzed and a special team’s coach whose neck was broken in the May 2, 2009, collapse of the team’s practice facility due to high winds filed separate lawsuits against the Pennsylvania-based company that built the structure and several other companies involved in the construction and maintenance.
Cowboys scouting assistant Rich Behm was paralyzed from the waist down and 11 others were injured when the structure was toppled in high winds. Special teams coach Joe DeCamillas suffered a broken neck in the collapse. Summit Structures, the company that built the practice facility. Summit, an engineer, and … Read the rest
The annual ritual of the NFL draft was held a few weeks ago and teams are now holding their rookie mini-camps to get a better look at the players they selected. Whether a player’s college career was affected by injury was a often a major factor in the evaluation of the player. But not all injuries are created equally, or, it should be said, affect positions equally, according to a study co-written by medical personnel from two N.F.L. teams published in the April 2009 issue of The American Journal of Sports Medicine. The study tested the effect of specific diagnoses … Read the rest
Last week saw the National Football League make eleven (11) rule changes including issues involving replays, kickoffs, onside kicks, and hits to the quarterback. Viewed as a whole, the rule changes reveal a concerted effort to reduce injuries to players. Some critics contend, however, that the rule changes will water-down the physical aspects of the game, likening future NFL play to flag football. But to the owners, the players are their most valuable assets, and protecting them, and avoiding the sight of players being taken off the field strapped to stretchers is understandably paramount.
The new rules are also consistent … Read the rest
Heat exposure deaths happen occasionally in all levels of football. The cases have led to numerous lawsuits, however, no evidence can be found that a coach has ever been charged in the deaths. Until now. A Kentucky high school football coach was indicted by a grand jury last month with reckless homicide in the death of a player who collapsed during a sweltering practice. Coach David Jason Stinson was charged in the death of 15-year-old sophomore offensive lineman Max Gilpin that occurred on August 20, 2008, when the heat index reached 94 degrees.The indictment has brought on an uproar by … Read the rest
Super Bowl hoopla did not prevent a meeting this week in Tampa with the attendees urging the NFL to join them in researching the connection between football and progressive brain damage and declaring that a concussion crisis exists in football. Among those at the hotel meeting were former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson, eight-year NFL special teams standout Isaiah Kacyvenski and 73-year-old Bernie Parrish, who played eight seasons for the Cleveland Browns and now spends much of his time battling the NFL Players Association, which he says refuses to adequately represent retired players. Joining them were several doctors from the Boston … Read the rest
This year’s LandTek FieldTurf convention, held last month at a hotel in Huntington, Long Island, New York, was dedicated to addressing recent worries that the filling material, composed of ground up tires, could eventually expose athletes to life-threatening illness.
The concerns have to do with the fact that the artificial fields are constructed using up to ten tons of ground-up used tires, or crumb rubber, as in-fill. The danger is that since tires typically contain toxic substances which prohibit their disposal in landfills and oceans, it seems reasonable to question whether this material is safe for use on fields where … Read the rest