Safety & Security: Athlete Safety
- Column: Playing Multiple Sports Best for Young Athletes
by Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Michael Roizen June 2017
It seems many parents and coaches have the mistaken idea that one-sport specialization will make the child a superstar athlete when he or she gets older. According to a study in Strength & Conditioning Journal, that's not the case, and young athletes who specialize in one sport are risking repetitive-use injuries that could permanently sideline them.
- Can Stylistic Helmet Switches Compromise Safety?
by Ralph Russo June 2017
The NCAA football oversight committee will meet this week in Indianapolis and is to begin studying whether multiple helmets could lead to more concussions and serious head and neck injuries.
- Big East Hosts Inaugural Mental Health Summit
by Courtney Cameron June 2017
On June 15-16, the Big East Conference, in partnership with the NCAA, held its inaugural Mental Health Summit at Georgetown University.
- Youth Injuries Rise as Athletes Refuse to Slow Down
by Kirsten Fleming June 2017
According to the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, serious shoulder and elbow injuries among youth baseball and softball players have increased fivefold since 2000.
- $9M Claims Announced in NFL Concussion Settlement
by Courtney Cameron June 2017
The first two claims have been announced in the NFL’s billion-dollar concussion settlement, totaling $9 million in benefits, according to ESPN.
A payout of $5 million will be made for a qualifying diagnosis of ALS, while another $4 million will be paid out for a qualifying diagnosis of CTE.
The names of the former players in question have not been disclosed, but the amounts signify that both parties would have played a minimum of five seasons for the NFL and were diagnosed before the age of 45.
The ALS claim was approved on May 26, and the CTE claim on June 5.
The U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the body responsible for overseeing the settlement process, was notified of the approved claims on Thursday.
There are more than 20,000 eligible class members with potential to add their names to the settlement. Of those, more than 14,500 registered prior to the August 7 deadline.
As of June 5, 146 former NFL players or their families had opted out of the settlement.
Christopher Seeger, co-lead class counsel for the retired NFL players, told ESPN, "We continue to be encouraged by the response from retired players and their families to the settlement, and are pleased that its vital benefits — including monetary payments — are now available.
"We implore all class members, even those who may feel healthy today, to register before the Aug. 7 deadline so they can be eligible for the benefits they deserve.''
- Hyperthermia Caused Death of Kent State Football Player
by Elton Alexander June 2017
The preliminary cause of death for Kent State football player Tyler Heintz on Tuesday morning has been ruled hyperthermia, which is when the body fails to adequately cool itself down under hot and humid conditions and overheats.
- Lineman Dies After Conditioning Drills at Kent State
by Courtney Cameron June 2017
In an official statement Tuesday evening, Kent State University confirmed the death of incoming freshman Tyler Heintz, who arrived on campus earlier in the week as a member of the football team’s recruiting class.
- Top Neurosurgeon Talks Ongoing Concussion Reform
by Andy Berg June 2017
One of the top neurosurgeons in the United States, Dr. Julian Bailes, says concerns about concussions shouldn’t stop anyone from playing football, so long as they understand the risks.
Bailes, a former department chair at West Virginia University and founder of the Brain Injury Research Institute was portrayed by actor Alec Baldwin in the 2015 film “Concussion.”
During comments made on West Virginia MetroNews’ “Talkline,” Bailes says that “the majority of people do not end up with brain damage playing football,” adding that leagues across the board, from Pop Warner to the NFL, have all made changes to reduce “unnecessary obligatory head contact.”
Bailes, an outspoken critic of the NFL’s concussion policy, admits that the league has done a lot to deal with the problem of mitigating head injuries. “I’m not sure there is a whole lot more they can do. During the last Collective Bargaining Agreement they reduced the number of contact practices to 14, they have eliminated the egregious head to head hits, so I think they have done many things to reduce the gratuitous unnecessary head contact,” Bailes says.
As much as the NFL has done, Bailes says the youth side of the sport has also responded to the problem. “Pop Warner eliminated head contact drills in practice, they reduced practice contact time down to one-fourth of all the hours of the week, and this past season they eliminated kickoffs for the younger age groups,” Bailes says.
Advances in equipment are also part of dealing with concussions. Bailes notes that improved helmet design, as well as innovative solutions – such as a collar that increases the amount of blood in the head, which stabilizes the brain – are part of the equation as well.
The full recording of Baines’ comments on “Talkline” can be found here.
- Rachel Moyer’s AEDs-in-Schools Mission Gains Momentum
by Paul Steinbach June 2017
Of the many stories Rachel Moyer tells about people saved by automated external defibrillators, one stands out. It involves a former Notre Dame High School girls' basketball player from East Stroudsburg, Pa., whose team shared a bus with the boys' team the night in December 2000 that Moyer's sophomore son Greg died of sudden cardiac arrest. Finding inspiration in that tragedy, Maureen Burke is now an athletic trainer and just last year helped save the life of a 59-year-old sportswriter at a high school basketball game by using an AED. "To me, that's more than a coincidence," says Rachel Moyer, a past president of Parent Heart Watch and tireless grant writer for the Greg W. Moyer Defibrillator Fund. Since losing her son, Moyer has helped place 2,500 AEDs in schools across the country (a number that has more than doubled in the six years since AB last spoke to her) and trained more than 22,000 people in CPR and AED use. AB senior editor Paul Steinbach reconnected with Moyer for an update on her goal to see every high school in America outfitted with the life-saving technology.
- Clinic Emphasizes Heads Up Football Program
by Austin Candor June 2017
With the first summer workouts getting underway for high school football teams, Snider coach Kurt Tippmann pressed fellow coaches to enter the season with a game plan. But Tippmann wasn't referring to those involved in converting third-down conversions and stopping an offense at the goal line. He was talking about a game plan to battle concussions.