Loading...
BYH to everyone that keeps Christmas special by celebrating it in December, after Thanksgiving....

Football continues to ignore player safety

082918ECUFootball-5.jpg
1 of 7

East Carolina football players run drills during practice, at the Cliff-Moore Practice Facility in August.

College Football Picks
Panthers Preview-2
Keeping Cool Football
Keeping Cool Football
080318-ConleyFootball-5.jpg
Cardinals Football-1
Loading…

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

You can add the name Jordan McNair to the list of college, high school and middle school players who might have needlessly died for the love of football.

A simple, well-known procedure — immersing McNair, 19, in a tub of ice water — when he collapsed at an off-season University of Maryland workout in May could well have saved his life. But it didn’t happen. This failure drew national attention to how unprepared many football programs are to keep their players safe.

The focus on concussions can obscure the deaths that continue to occur each year. Last year, 13 high school and college players died from incidents that include heat stroke, head injuries and sudden cardiac arrest.

Just two weeks ago in Crowley, Texas, Kyrell McBride-Johnson, 13, collapsed at a middle school practice and died that night. His mother told The Dallas Morning News that he was signaling for water before collapsing. An autopsy has not been completed, but the death of anyone so young raises troubling questions.

The simple truth is that player safety at too many schools and colleges comes in a poor second to winning. Even as the climate warms, colleges, high schools and middle schools are starting football season earlier than they used to.

Five decades ago, Notre Dame and Michigan opened their seasons on the third Saturday of September and Ohio State on the fourth Saturday. This year, spurred by longer seasons and lucrative TV schedules, all three teams played their first game Sept. 1, necessitating practices in midsummer heat. High schools and middle schools mimic the college schedules. (In 1968, the NFL season began on Sept. 14; this year, it kicks off this Sept. 6.)

Starting the season later could by itself reduce the number of heat stroke deaths. But even with the current schedule, schools know how to prevent potentially fatal incidents and to rescue students if they occur. In 2013, more than a dozen leading sports medicine groups and the National Federation of State High School Associations endorsed a list of best practices to prevent injuries and save lives.

Grading states against that list and other smart practices, the University of Connecticut’s Korey Stringer Institute found that 28 states have failed to put in place half the measures to keep students safe. Even the states that scored highest in the 2018 study — New Jersey and North Carolina — have less than 80 percent in place. California and Colorado, with the worst records, employ less than a third of them.

That’s inexcusable. If states have the wherewithal to run high school football programs, they have the wherewithal to do more to ensure that students don’t die.

Many of the policies are based on common sense and carry minimal costs. Preventing heat stroke, for example, requires players in hot weather to acclimate: no more than one practice a day, and no practice lasting more than three hours. But the majority of states don’t require this, according to Douglas Casa, the Stringer Institute’s CEO. Nor do all states require cold-water immersion tubs be on hand; a tub costs about $150, can be purchased at a hardware store, and is known to save lives. Many don’t have an emergency plan posted on the field and known to all school staff.

And just a handful require an athletic trainer on site for all “collision/contact” practices. Yes, this costs some money, but if a school can afford to maintain a football field and pay for coaches, insurance, uniforms and travel, the cost of a single staff member with medical training is not too much to ask.

More than 110 years ago, after at least 18 college players died during a single season, President Theodore Roosevelt saved the game by pressing for commonsense safety measures.

Today, everyone knows what the solutions are. It’s long past time for state athletic officials and lawmakers to act.

USA Today

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Editorials

November 20, 2018 - 33 minutes ago

What happens now? That is the essential question following the New York Times' troubling investigation into Facebook's response to Russian interference on its platform. The article has prompted sharp criticism of the company from all quarters, and Facebook deserves the blowback. But Americans…

Facebook-Security Breach

November 19, 2018

Well of course it’s blatant and outrageous gerrymandering, with state and federal legislative districts deliberately drawn to give one party overwhelming advantage over the other. Nobody has offered an honest argument to the contrary.

Rather, the Dark Lord of Gerrymander — more widely…

Constitutional Amendments-1

November 16, 2018

Rising casualties. Aerial assaults. Weary ground forces. The charred desolation of thousands of homes. The most apt metaphor about California’s rampaging wildfires is warfare.

And just like in any war, one of the first casualties is truth.

Who or what is to blame for the conflagrations?…

California Wildfires-12

November 14, 2018

Members of the N.C. General Assembly will get some legislative exercise to help burn off their Thanksgiving calories this year, returning to Raleigh for a late-November special session that will, among other things, write the rules for the state’s newly enacted constitutional requirement for…

Voter ID Lawsuit

November 13, 2018

Anita Earls, who was elected Tuesday to a seat on the N.C. Supreme Court, ought to be happy that legislative Republicans apparently spend so much time reading Niccolo Machiavelli’s 16th century treatise on power, “The Prince.”

Machiavelli urged a style of cunning political…

Supreme Court Earls

November 10, 2018

The Democrats’ return to control over the House of Representatives is much more than a victory for one party. It is a sign of health for American democracy.

Distrustful of untrammeled majorities, the authors of the Constitution favored checks and balances, including, crucially, the check that…

Election 2018 Trump

November 09, 2018

With the courts and Trump Administration rolling back federal climate regulation, green activists have turned to the states. But there’s a troubling ethical twist: Instead of merely lobbying, activists are placing employees in Attorneys General offices in dubious private-public condominiums.…

November 04, 2018

President Trump’s assertion on Tuesday that he could end birthright citizenship via an executive order likely is another attempt to stir up immigration as a campaign issue ahead of next week’s midterm election.

It’s a bad and almost certainly unconstitutional idea, and had the…

AP Explains Birthright Citizenship-2

November 04, 2018

Pitt County is fortunate to have a ballot full of fine candidates running for elected office on Tuesday. Women and men have put their names forth to produce contested races for almost every seat. The races offer contrasts in style, personality and direction.

The Daily Reflector has reported on the…

November 02, 2018

It’s natural to think of worst case scenarios when such a scenario is right before your eyes. So it was Monday when authorities said a Butler High School student was shot and killed by another student during a dispute in a school hallway. The death appeared to be the first fatal shooting…

North Carolina School Shooting-3
90 stories in Editorials. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 9
        Next Page»   Last Page»