Concussions Get More Attention
Updated: January 5, 2016
With the release of the film Concussion starring Will Smith as concussion researcher Dr. Bennet Omalu, there has been renewed attention to Omalu's discovery and exposure of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) - degenerative brain damage caused by repeated concussions. The film is based on the book League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions, and the Battle for Truth which chronicled the discovery, testing process and ultimate battle with the NFL to take action about what the authors considered a rampant problem in the league.
The book is a shocking read and as I mentioned back in 2014 (Premium article) it caused me to think twice about the collisions in this sport I love.
Well, the NCAA and the Department of Defense recently came out with an infographic that summarizes yet another study. The full study will be released later, but here are a few of the findings:
Football is NOT the highest sport for concussions. They are ranked in terms of incidents per 10,000 events. These events can be practices, games etc.
- Wrestling: 10.9
- Men’s ice hockey: 7.9
- Women’s ice hockey: 7.5
- Football: 6.7
- Women’s soccer: 6.3
The interesting thing for me is that hockey is higher than football. When you think about it, it makes sense when you think about the fact that their playing surface is much harder.
So what can you make of all this? Is this the NCAA trying to put lipstick on a pig? What is your take? I stand by my assertion that concussions are a dangerous thing but they are not a foregone conclusion of playing football. The key as always is the program you have your student-athlete enrolled in.
Good coaches take care of their kids and that is the bottom line. It is your job as a parent to make sure you know who your child is playing football for. Get to know your team's head football coach and staff. If you feel uneasy about what you learn, either move or take him out of football. Or you can just play concussion lottery and hope not to lose.