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Sizing Up Concussions In Football

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 09:47 PM CDT

Over the year, the dimensions of football haven't really changed. The field is still 120 yards long, 53 1/3 yards wide, and the ball weighs about a pound. Those measurements have not evolved. Others have.

This year's University of Texas defense averages 238 pounds. In 1970, Coach Darrell K. Royal won a national title with just six players total weighing-in at 238 pounds or more. Today's players are bigger and stronger. The game is faster and more dangerous. The brain has never been in more jeopardy.

"It's something that coaches are aware," says Texas head football coach Mack Brown. "It's something we understand. We don't want any of our players or other players to get hurt."

"Every year we come up with good ideas and more knowledge of what we're doing," says Texas State head football coach Dennis Franchione. "There's more of an understanding of the helmet situation, there are far more studies."

Helmets are not doing enough. Yearly, an estimated 3.8 million sports related concussions occur in pro, college, and youth competition. Approximately 85 percent of those go undiagnosed. Biomedical engineers at Virginia Tech and Wake Forest Universities evaluated 15 different brands of football helmets based on concussion risks. According to the University Interscholastic League, Texas high schools are not required to report what type of helmet they use. Regents School of Austin, a member of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) is ahead of the game.

"It's important for those kids to be healthy when they're 25, 30, 40, 50 years old," says Regents head football coach/athletic director Beck Brydon.

Regents uses the Guardian protective helmet cover, a soft outer shell on top of the helmet that dampens the impact of head-to-head contact.

"The emphasis is on protecting the head and the neck," says Regents wide receiver Tony Kwiatkowski. "We've focused on that in our tackling drills and our contact drills too."

"The players are flying around more than they should," says Coach Brydon. "They're more reckless than they should be. They think the helmets and pads will help them, but it's just the opposite. They should be learning to do it the right way."

So while the field itself is the same, the size of the players continues to increase, forcing football programs and leagues to carry their weight and protect the brain. And like the guys who take the field, that hurdle is growing tougher every day.

By Adam Winkler.Sizing Up Concussions In Football


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Scores & Schedules

September 23, 2014 07:10 GMT

INTERLEAGUE

Arizona 6 Minnesota 2

Monday's Games

Cleveland 4, Kansas City 3, 10 innings, comp. of susp. game

N.Y. Yankees 5, Baltimore 0

Kansas City 2, Cleveland 0

Toronto 14, Seattle 4

Chicago White Sox 2, Detroit 0

Texas 4, Houston 3

Arizona 6, Minnesota 2

Oakland 8, L.A. Angels 4

Tuesday's Games

Baltimore (U.Jimenez 5-9) at N.Y. Yankees (McCarthy 7-4), 7:05 p.m.

Kansas City (Ventura 13-10) at Cleveland (Salazar 6-7), 7:05 p.m.

Seattle (F.Hernandez 14-5) at Toronto (Dickey 13-12), 7:07 p.m.

Chicago White Sox (Carroll 5-10) at Detroit (D.Price 14-12), 7:08 p.m.

Tampa Bay (Cobb 9-8) at Boston (Buchholz 8-9), 7:10 p.m.

Houston (Oberholtzer 5-12) at Texas (N.Martinez 4-11), 8:05 p.m.

L.A. Angels (LeBlanc 0-1) at Oakland (Gray 13-9), 10:05 p.m.

NATIONAL LEAGUE Monday's Games

Pittsburgh 1, Atlanta 0

St. Louis 8, Chicago Cubs 0

Arizona 6, Minnesota 2

San Diego 1, Colorado 0

San Francisco 5, L.A. Dodgers 2, 13 innings

Tuesday's Games

N.Y. Mets (B.Colon 14-12) at Washington (Roark 14-10), 7:05 p.m.

Milwaukee (Fiers 6-3) at Cincinnati (Cueto 18-9), 7:10 p.m.

Philadelphia (Hamels 9-7) at Miami (H.Alvarez 11-6), 7:10 p.m.

Pittsburgh (Cole 10-5) at Atlanta (A.Wood 11-10), 7:10 p.m.

St. Louis (S.Miller 10-9) at Chicago Cubs (Hendricks 7-2), 8:05 p.m.

Colorado (J.De La Rosa 14-11) at San Diego (Erlin 4-4), 10:10 p.m.

San Francisco (Bumgarner 18-9) at L.A. Dodgers (Greinke 15-8), 10:10 p.m.

INTERLEAGUE

Arizona (Chafin 0-0) at Minnesota (Gibson 12-11), 8:10 p.m.

NFL

Thursday's Game

Atlanta 56, Tampa Bay 14

Sunday's Games

Dallas 34, St. Louis 31

New Orleans 20, Minnesota 9

San Diego 22, Buffalo 10

Philadelphia 37, Washington 34

N.Y. Giants 30, Houston 17

Cincinnati 33, Tennessee 7

Baltimore 23, Cleveland 21

Detroit 19, Green Bay 7

Indianapolis 44, Jacksonville 17

New England 16, Oakland 9

Arizona 23, San Francisco 14

Seattle 26, Denver 20, OT

Kansas City 34, Miami 15

Pittsburgh 37, Carolina 19

Monday's Game

Chicago 27, N.Y. Jets 19

NHL PRESEASON

Monday's Games

N.Y. Islanders (ss) 3, Ottawa (ss) 2, SO

Toronto 3, Philadelphia (ss) 2, SO

Arizona (ss) 5, Los Angeles (ss) 4, SO

Los Angeles (ss) 4, Arizona (ss) 3, SO

N.Y. Islanders (ss) 3, Ottawa (ss) 2

New Jersey 5, N.Y. Rangers 4

Detroit 2, Pittsburgh 1

Philadelphia (ss) 5, Washington 4

Winnipeg 2, Minnesota 1

Dallas 4, St. Louis 3

Anaheim (ss) 5, Colorado (ss) 2

Anaheim (ss) 4, Colorado (ss) 0

Tuesday's Games

Carolina at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

Pittsburgh at Columbus, 7 p.m.

Philadelphia at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.

Boston at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

Nashville at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.

Detroit at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.

San Jose (ss) at Vancouver (ss), 9 p.m.

Arizona at Anaheim, 10 p.m.

Vancouver (ss) vs. San Jose (ss) at Stockton, CA, 10:30 p.m.

Longhorn Football Scoreboard

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KEYE-TV Sports Team


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