The news could not get any worse about brain injuries for the football industry.
The absolute last thing people connected to the football industry wanted to see was the Boston University findings of a study of the brains of deceased football players. One hundred ten out of 111 one-time NFL players had CTE. It is a very small sample of players who played in the league. There was not good news either from college players with 48 out of 53 brains examined of dead players showing CTE. Again, a very small sample but alarming for parents who are facing a decision with the start of the football season near. Do parents of children expose their sons and daughters to possible brain injuries from football? While Senators in Washington were jawing about the future of the nation’s health care not one lawmaker mentioned how a number of former NFL players were getting SSI benefits and Medicaid. Brain injuries have left players unable to work after football is done.
There is no interruption in the pipeline from youth football to the pros. In 2015, one million, eighty-three thousand, three hundred eight students played high school football which was only 309 players less than 2014. The number of players in high school has dropped off from 2008 when 29,000 more players were on high school teams. There are some parents who are worried however. Just prior to the start of the 2016 season a poll found, 44 percent of parents were uncomfortable with their child’s participation in football. It is more than just football. If a child gets hurt on the field is there adequate medical personnel on hand to deal with an injury? That answer is maybe not in many areas of the country. The Boston University findings are stunning but it is a small sample. This is nothing new for football. It was branded dangerous in 1905. New rules were implemented to make it safer. Those rules have failed.
Football remains a hazardous profession.