Subject Matter Experts and Contact Information

Suggested Guidelines for Parents And Coaches to Discuss
Goal: Safety Should Be Top Priority For All

  • Firm understanding among all parties that safety is the top priority
  • Certification and training coaches have received (head coaches certification, Keep the Head Out of Football, etc.)
  • Pre-season and in-season practice policy (amount of contact, full pads, etc.)
  • Heat policy relative to all activities
  • Review the Concussion Management Policy and protocols, e.g., removed from practice or game, no participation until cleared by Concussion Oversight Team, etc.
  • If applicable, discuss baseline concussion testing programs
  • Helmet and equipment safety standards and procedures (i.e., quality helmets that are certified every year and fitted by a trained professional)
  • Critical importance of a quality mouthpiece (invest in a mouthpiece for better protection)
  • Information on the safety personnel available at practices and games (physicians, trainers, ambulances, etc.)
  • Discuss and review any emergency management plans and protocol concerning major injuries, lightning, etc.
  • Outside of safety, engage in conversations about why you want your kids to play and coaches can provide insights on the other benefits the game provides (discipline, teamwork, increased focus on academics, etc.)
Overlooked Scientific Papers You Should Know About

Subconcussive head impacts in sport: A systematic review of the evidence.
“Subconcussion is often inconsistently used, poorly defined, and misleading in the current research. As a result of the weakness of the current body of research, the overall finding of the review stated there was insufficient evidence to conclude that repetitive head impacts are associated with neurocognitive impairment.”

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy-like Neuropathological Findings Without a History of Trauma
“Evidence reviewed predominantly from studies of male athletes in contact and collision sports identifies that repetitive hits to the head are associated with microstructural and functional changes in the brain. Whether these changes represent injury is unclear. We determined the term ‘subconcussion’ to be inconsistently used, poorly defined, and misleading. Future research is needed to characterize the phenomenon in question.”

Is phosphorylated tau unique to chronic traumatic encephalopathy? Phosphorylated tau in epileptic brain and chronic traumatic encephalopathy

“Although CTE has been found only in patients with a history of head trauma thus far, our case potentially highlights the complexity in the pathogenesis of this disorder.”

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy-Like Abnormalities in a Routine Neuropathology Service.
“We conclude that CTE-like findings are not confined to professional athletes; the risk factors of head injury and substance abuse are similar in the routine population. However, the significance of very small hyperphosphorylated tau deposits remains to be determined. In addition, the absence of typical CTE-like deposits near contusion sites keeps open the question of pathogenesis.”

Primum Non Nocere: A Call For Balance When Reporting on CTE

As clinicians and researchers in traumatic brain injury and neurodegeneration, we are concerned by the tone of reporting on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) that has developed over the past decade, highlighted in an article in The New York Times.

Misleading reporting can have unintended, negative consequences and we call for balance from the medical and scientific communities and the media when communicating on issues related to CTE.

Click here to read the full article.

CTE: Facts, Fiction, and How to Keep Your Kids Safe

Good of the Game

College Football by the Numbers

College Football (est. 1869):

  • 150th Anniversary of College Football Celebrated in 2019
  • 79% Graduation Success Rate of Football Bowl Subdivision Football Student-Athletes*
  • 66% Graduation Rate of General Student Body**
  • 81,000(+) College Football Players at All Levels

*Source: NCAA
**Source: National Center for Education Statistics

775 Colleges & Universities Playing Football at All Levels

  • Five colleges & universities will add football programs in 2019 and beyond
  • In the past six seasons (2012-17), 35 football programs have been added
  • Rationale for adding football varies at each institution
    • Small colleges may cite increasing enrollment and addressing gender imbalances
    • Larger universities might highlight the role of football in raising the institution’s profile and its ability to attract research grants
    • All mention creating a more vibrant on-campus community and connecting with alumni
  • According to a 2015 study of five small universities published in College Planning & Management by Virginia Wesleyan College President Dr. Scott Miller and former Carlow University (Pa.) President Dr. Marylouise Fennell, adding sports teams and facilities, especially football and marching bands, can fuel an enrollment boost.
    • Each of the five institutions experienced a six-year increase of 26 percent or more, with one school doubling its enrollment during that period.
  • Some of the impressive achievements at schools that have recently added football:
    • In 2017, UAB went 8-5 and earned a trip to the Bahamas Bowl in its first season after a two-year hiatus.
    • Georgia State, which launched its program in 2010, won its first bowl game after a win in the AutoNation Cure Bowl and had its first NFF National Scholar-Athlete selection in Chandon Sullivan.
    • At the FCS level, Kennesaw State (launched in 2015) claimed its first conference title in 2017 and reached the quarterfinals of the FCS Playoffs.
    • West Florida, which launched its program just two years ago in 2016, reached the Division II National Championship Game.
    • Berry (Ga.), which kicked off its inaugural season in 2013, claimed its first conference title and first perfect regular season in its history and reached the second round of the Division III Playoffs.
    • Reinhardt (Ga.), which also launched in 2013, posted a perfect regular season, won its conference division title and reached the NAIA National Championship in 2017.
  • These are just some of the impressive achievements at schools that have recently added football. Others include notching impressive attendance figures; attracting increased enrollment; garnering national publicity; expanding their donor bases; and receiving invitations to join conferences at the next level
  • Allen University in Columbia, S.C., which had previously dropped its football program following the 2005 season, is among the new schools this season. Allen also announced it would be bringing back its marching band program after more than 50 years. Administrators believe both programs will attract more students to the university , which has a current enrollment of around 600.
  • Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Mich., will return to the gridiron after a 70-year hiatus this fall and compete as an independent before joining the NAIA’s Mid-States Football Association in 2019. One of the university’s main objectives with the football program is to create an active student body.
  • Barton College in Wilson, N.C., announced the addition of an NCAA Division II football program with the goal of an inaugural season in 2020. The private, liberal arts college’s decision to integrate football into its athletics program is based on its mission of providing programs and opportunities to encourage the intellectual, spiritual, social and cultural development of its students. According to the college’s announcement release, football will enhance campus vibrancy, community engagement and institutional growth while helping balance the current gender ratio of 70/30 women to men.
  • Keystone previously sponsored the football in the late 1800s through the 1947 season, and the college believes the new program will reinvigorate the proud tradition the sport once held on campus. According to the college, the success of other recently added sports made football the next logical step to continue the growth of the Keystone student-athlete experience. In addition to the benefits to the players, the college stated that football will provide an enjoyable and uplifting experience for everyone associated with the college, bringing people together to socialize and share common experiences.