Safety & Security: Athlete Safety
Death Illustrates 'Horrible Aftereffect' of Football
by Sam Venable, Knoxville News-Sentinel July 2014
The death of Richard Pickens earlier this week is a tragic reminder of the human toll of football. Richard made it to 67, but his mind betrayed him years earlier. He suffered from a variety of neurological disorders, not the least of which was “frontotemporal dementia.” The likely culprit, of course, was repeated concussions. At Richard’s request, his brain was donated to Boston University for further research into the horrible aftereffect of this high-impact sport.
Virigina Tech Testing Hockey Helmets for Concussion Risk
by Andrew Brandt July 2014
Hockey helmets may soon be getting hit with some big changes, but hopefully they'll be able to absorb the impact.
College Football Player Collapses and Dies at Workout
by Michael Gaio July 2014
A college football player at Winona State University collapsed and died Monday night while participating in a voluntary workout at the school's practice field.
With Tommy John Surgery, Prep Pitchers Outnumber Pros
by Laken Litman, @LakenLitman, USA TODAY Sports July 2014
Kellen Sillanpaa remembers the big games. There was a no-hitter in the championship game of a travel tournament when he was 12; the "120-pitch epoch," where nobody came close to hitting it out of the infield; and the high school playoff game in which he struck out the side in relief as a freshman. Sillanpaa was competitive, talented and threw hard. College recruiters were watching. But there was a problem. Sillanpaa kept throwing through elbow pain and eventually needed Tommy John elbow surgery, from which he never fully recovered. The procedure, in which a pitcher's ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow is reconstructed, has become a topic of national conversation with 28 major leaguers having the surgery or expecting to have it this year. But the injury is also shutting down players years before they reach the big leagues, with the number of procedures at the youth level rising at an alarming rate. James Andrews, the famed orthopedic surgeon, has called it an epidemic.
California Prep Coaches Grapple with New Contact Rules
by STEVE FRYER, Staff Writer July 2014
The head coach in Sacramento just sent in a new play. Local high school football teams are trying to figure out how to run it. Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed into law AB2127, which limits full-contact football practices at the high school and middle school level. The law, which takes effect Jan. 1, will limit teams to two full-contact practices a week during the season, with such practices restricted to 90 minutes, and prohibits any full-contact practices during the offseason. The restrictions represent the latest and perhaps most aggressive attempt to reduce concussions and other head injuries incurred in youth football. The rules apply to public, private and charter schools.
Offensive Tempo Debate Divides SEC Football Coaches
by Paul Myerberg, and George Schroeder, USA Today July 2014
Gary Pinkel's up-tempo experience dates to the summer of 2005, when Missouri, reeling after a disappointing season, opted to implement the unorthodox approach then gaining a foothold within the Big 12 Conference. The result has been a near decade of historic success: Missouri found an offense, discovered an identity and rolled through the most productive era in program history, essentially parlaying its successes into a spot in the Southeastern Conference, where the Tigers won 12 games and the East Division title a season ago. This experience has placed Pinkel in the SEC's pro-tempo camp, particularly when it comes to the debate's most contentious theory: That a quicker, no-huddle approach places offensive and defensive players alike at an increased risk of injury.
KHSAA Recommends Softball Players Wear Facemasks
by Rexford Sheild, Athletic Business Intern July 2014
As safety has become a bigger priority at every level of sports, the state of Kentucky is considering taking things even further for its high school softball players. The Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) voted to recommend that softball players playing first base, third base and pitcher wear protective face gear during games.
How to Manage Concussions in Athletics
by Harry Kerasidis, M.D. July 2014
Kudos are in order for the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) for updating its position statement on the management of sports concussions, originally published in 2004. NATA's intent to provide more comprehensive guidance is critical today as athletic programs across the United States contend with the rapid convergence of concussion awareness, legal compliance and the short- and long-term risks associated with brain trauma.
Neurologists Stress Better Care for Concussion Patients
by Andrew Brandt, Athletic Business Intern July 2014
Just in time for the Sports Concussion Conference, the American Academy of Neurology, known as one of the leaders in managing sports concussions, has released a new position paper on how doctors should care for those who suffer one.
Family of Boy Killed at Football Camp Settles for $1M
by Heath Hamacher July 2014
A week before a wrongful death case was set to go to trial, the family of a 15-year-old boy killed in 2011 during a football camp agreed to a $1 million settlement.