• NFL Seeks Positive Narrative to Counter 'Concussion' Film

    by Crocker Stephenson November 2015

    "I think the rules we have instituted over the last five to 10 years have really been effective. You don't see players using helmets the way they used to. Players used to talk about kill shots - I want to knock somebody out. That's been taken out of the game." Mark Murphy, Green Bay Packers president

  • Addressing Concussions in HS Football

    by David Downey November 2015

    Press-Enterprise staff writer David Downey spoke with Roger Blake, executive director of the California Interscholastic Federation, about the growing problem of concussions and serious head injury in high school football. You have been quoted as saying high school football is at a critical juncture. What do you mean by that? "We've experienced so far this year eight tragedies, in terms of deaths directly related to injuries in high school football. It keeps the spotlight on this issue of traumatic brain injuries and concussions in sports and high school football. Eight deaths (in the U.S.) this year is just terrible."

  • Opinion: NFL System Failed Case Keenum

    by Jarrett Bell November 2015

    Case Keenum's head was slammed to the turf, and he immediately placed his hands on both sides of his helmet in agony. The St. Louis Rams quarterback could not quickly get up under his own power. Instead, he lay on the field of M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday, writhing in pain.

  • Minnesota Doctors Urge End to School Football Programs

    by Jeremy Olson November 2015

    Two University of Minnesota doctors are recommending that the nation’s schools eliminate football, reducing the pressure on children to engage in a sport riddled with concussions.

  • NFL Players' Concussion Settlement Challenged in Federal Court

    by Jeremy Roebuck November 2015

    Lawyers opposed to the NFL's plan to compensate thousands of former players for the long-term health effects of repeated concussions urged a federal appeals court in Philadelphia on Thursday to overturn the potential $1 billion deal. Representing about 90 players who have called the settlement unfair, the lawyers argued that it includes an arbitrary cutoff date that would deny relief to those diagnosed in the future with one of football's signature diseases.

  • As Concerns Grow, Experts Seek to Make Prep Football Safer

    by Erik Brady November 2015

    The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest, wrote poet William Blake. He wasn't talking about football, but administrator Roger Blake very much is when he says the game is at a critical juncture: Someday, without changes, it could run out of receivers. This Blake is executive director of the California Interscholastic Federation, which oversees athletics at 1,576 high schools. He raised eyebrows recently when he told reporters on a conference call that the next two to three years would be crucial for the future of the nation's most popular sport. Eight high school football players have died since this season began, five from head or neck injuries. Three more died during preseason practice from heat-related causes or sickle cell tied to exertion. And concussion concerns continue apace, as they have for several seasons. "I believe parents are seeing the same stories and the same data and taking a step back," Blake tells USA TODAY Sports. "What parent wouldn't be asking, 'Do I want my child out there?'"

  • What to Look For When You Suspect a Concussion

    by Dayton Daily News November 2015

    A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head, or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.

  • Court Conditions Force Cancellation of College Hoops Game

    by Spokane Spokesman-Review November 2015

    The Gonzaga-Pittsburgh season-opening basketball game Friday lasted one half before officials called it off due to unsafe court conditions. Players from both teams were slipping and sliding throughout the first half of the Armed Forces Classic, played on a portable court inside Foster Fieldhouse in Okinawa, Japan. The game, the centerpiece of ESPN's annual tribute to America's Heroes, was held at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Butler. At one point, Pittsburgh's James Robinson lost his footing and fell on the court, suffering a cut below his eye.

  • Athletes Must Speak Up On Concussions

    by Mike Sielski November 2015

    It was an ordinary play in a big game, and maybe the combination of those two factors caused Malcolm Jenkins to disregard the telltale fogginess that began to settle over his consciousness. Cowboys running back Darren McFadden had broken free of one tackler in the second quarter of the Eagles' 33-27 victory Sunday in Dallas and was moving forward. Jenkins - the Eagles' starting strong safety, as intelligent and respected as any player in their locker room - moved forward, too, to confront him. Jenkins led with his right shoulder when he collided with McFadden, and still his head struck McFadden's chest with enough force that, once Jenkins got up from the ground after making the tackle, he felt something he had never felt before. The game's action seemed faster, he said, and he didn't know where to train his eyes to see what was happening, and he realized he'd suffered his first concussion.

  • Athletic Trainers Needed to Prevent HS Tragedies

    by The Charleston Post & Courier November 2015

    Eight high school football players across the country have died this season, and these tragedies appear to be occurring more frequently. Now more than ever, every high school needs to hire a full-time athletic trainer. There are so many critical functions an athletic trainer performs for student-athletes. Treating and rehabilitating injured players and helping to determine return to play are only part of their duties. No role impacts the lives of the athletes more than recognition and initial treatment of life-threatening emergencies. As an example, let s imagine a 17-year-old football player who suffers heat stroke during a summer practice. Without an athletic trainer present, it could take five or 10 minutes before a coach notices the player confused. The coach might not recognize the cause of his symptoms. Not knowing the initial management of heat stroke, he might call EMS.