Concussion Talk At Football Coaches Convention
AFCA holding annual meeting in Indy
(wibc.com photo: Ray Steele)
Football coaches from around the country are meeting in Indianapolis, and one of the most talked about topics is the attempt to prevent concussions.
Listen to Ray's interview with Greg Merril, CEO of Brain Sentry:
Listen to Ray's interview with former Redskins defensive lineman Charles Mann:
One of the speakers at the American Football Coaches Association's annual convention was Dr. Sandi Chapman with the Center For Brain Health at the University of Texas-Dallas. Her institute has worked closely with the NFL in the past, and its message seems to run counter to some in the medical world; that football as it is in inherently safe, and that there is no limit to brain repair, regardless of previous injury.
Others in the football world are either not convinced of that message or is worried about a drop in youth football participation last year. The company Brain Sentry has developed a sensor that attaches to football helmets that indicates when a player might need to be checked for concussion symptoms. Brain Sentry's CEO, Greg Merril, is also a volunteer youth football coach and says he thinks those types of sensors will eventually be mandatory. "Everyone in this industry sees that this is the direction we are going," said Merril. "There is no reason at this point why we should turn helmets into smart helmets."
Pop Warner Football says participation dropped by almost 10-percent between 2010 and 2012, and many people believe it's because of parents' fear of head injuries. Former Washington Redskins defensive lineman Charles Mann understands their concern, but he believes technology can help. "I want football to remain a gladiator sport. I want it to stay tough and physical, because this isn't a sport for everyone. I want football to keep that attitude, but I also want it to be safer for young people."