NCAA Reported-Concussion Study: Entering Week 6


For quite some time now we have been compiling data regarding reported concussions in Division-I NCAA college football, taking note of rates of reported injury as well as the implications that such injuries have placed upon the players themselves.  As before mentioned in a post covering the absence of requirement in NCAA teams reporting injuries, we understand that this study will not be that of an exact science, but it should and will point to several issues on this subject.  The questions that we may raise from this study include inquiry on the prevalence of concussions in this level of football, how the injury is distributed amongst different age groups, how teams may or may not find purpose in not reporting concussions alongside other common injuries, how repetitive injury may impact one’s playing career, and most importantly- should the NCAA be required to report injuries?

Right now, such questions are left to debate and statistical evaluation.  Reporting concussions is analogous to reporting weakness in this level of play, and much so applies to all aspects of contact sports today.  What we have gathered through numerous resources made available online (and for that matter, it has been quite a challenge to track down concussions in the NCAA via Internet) is more so a statement to be made to the general public, for media fatigue and a lack of specialization to compartmentalize this injury aside from others has yet to be available to us.  This study intends on bringing more focus on concussions in college football, and hopefully may lead to more research-based and awareness-provoking paths.

As we enter Week 6 of the 2011-2012 NCAA college football season, here are the numbers to what we are looking at in relation to the incidents of concussions in Division-I programs…

PRESEASON: 21 reported concussions.

Positional Breakdown: QB- 0, RB- 2, WR- 0, TE- 0, OL- 7, DL- 7, LB- 3, DB- 2, K/P- 0
Collegiate Class Breakdown: FR- 3, (RS) FR- 0, SO- 4, (RS) SO- 2, JR-6, (RS) JR- 1, SR- 4, (RS) SR- 1

WEEK 1: 21 reported concussions in 78 games (1:3.714).

Positional Breakdown: QB- 2, RB- 1, WR- 2, TE- 2, OL- 3, DL- 3, LB- 4, DB- 4, K/P- 0
Collegiate Class Breakdown: FR- 2, (RS) FR- 1, SO- 3, (RS) SO- 2, JR- 4, (RS) JR- 2, SR- 5, (RS) SR- 2

WEEK 2: 22 reported concussions in 65 games (1:2.954)

Positional Breakdown: QB- 2, RB- 2, WR- 2, TE- 2, OL- 2, DL- 2, LB- 5, DB- 5, K/P- 0
Collegiate Class Breakdown: FR- 2, (RS) FR- 2, SO- 3, (RS) SO- 1, JR- 5, (RS) JR- 2, SR- 6, (RS) SR- 1

WEEK 3: 6 reported concussions in 64 games (1:10.67) [this should stand out.]

Positional Breakdown: QB- 0, RB- 0, WR- 1, TE- 1, OL- 1, DL- 1, LB- 0, DB- 2, K/P- 0
Collegiate Class Breakdown: FR- 0, (RS) FR- 1, SO- 1, (RS) SO- 0, JR- 1, (RS) JR- 0, SR- 2, (RS) SR- 1

WEEK 4: 21 reported concussions in 61 games (1:2.905)

Positional Breakdown: QB- 1, RB- 1, WR- 8, TE- 1, OL- 1, DL- 0, LB- 2, DB- 7, K/P- 0
Collegiate Class Breakdown: FR- 5, (RS) FR- 1, SO- 6, (RS) SO- 0, JR- 4, (RS) JR- 1, SR- 4, (RS) SR- 0

WEEK 5: 11 reported concussions in 55 games (1:5.000) [will be updated.]

Positional Breakdown: QB- 0, RB- 1, WR- 1, TE- 0, OL- 2, DL- 0, LB- 0, DB- 6, K/P- 1
Collegiate Class Breakdown: FR- 3, (RS) FR- 0, SO- 3, (RS) SO- 0, JR- 2, (RS) JR- 0, SR- 2, (RS) SR-1

OVERALL BREAKDOWN

Positional Breakdown: QB- 5, RB- 7, WR- 14, TE- 6, OL- 16, DL- 13, LB- 14, DB- 26, K/P- 1
Collegiate Class Breakdown: FR- 15, (RS) FR- 5, SO- 20, (RS) SO- 5, JR- 22, (RS) JR- 6, SR- 23, (RS) SR- 6

There are a few mid-season understandings to note from the information gathered by this online study of reported concussions in Divison-I NCAA football.  To date, there have been 102 total reported concussions, 81 of which have occurred during 323 games played in the 2011-2012 regular season so far.  This gives us a rate of 1 concussions per every 3.988 games played.  In addition to this, there have been 3 players ruled to be out for the season, and 4 players have chosen to ‘retire’ from the game as a result of complications generated by traumatic brain injury during their careers.

Now we will look at an approximated breakdown of concussions reported in each Division-I conference…

ACC (10): Boston College- 2, Clemson- 2, Duke- 0, Florida State- 2, Georgia Tech- 0, Maryland- 0, Miami (FL)- 1, North Carolina- 1, North Carolina State- 0, Virginia- 1, Virginia Tech- 0, Wake Forest- 1

Big 12 (11): Baylor- 0, Iowa State- 1, Kansas- 0, Kansas State- 0, Missouri- 1, Oklahoma- 4, Oklahoma State- 0, Texas- 1, Texas A&M- 2, Texas Tech- 2

Big East (7): Cincinnati- 0, Connecticut- 0, Louisville- 0, Pittsburgh- 0, Rutgers- 1, South Florida- 2, Syracuse- 4, West Virginia- 0

Big Ten (10): Illinois- 1, Indiana- 1, Iowa- 0, Michigan- 0, Michigan State- 0, Minnesota- 3, Nebraska- 0, Northwestern- 1, Ohio State- 0, Penn State- 2, Purdue- 0, Wisconsin- 2

Conference USA (8): East Carolina- 1, Houston- 0, Marshall- 0, Memphis- 0, Rice- 0, Southern Methodist- 0, Southern Mississippi- 0, Tulane- 2, Tulsa- 0, UAB- 1, Central Florida- 0, Texas El Paso- 2

IA Independents (3): Army- 1, Brigham Young- 2, Navy- 0, Notre Dame- 0

Mid-American (13): Akron- 1, Ball State- 2, Bowling Green- 0, Buffalo- 1, Central Michigan- 2, Eastern Michigan- 0, Kent State- 4, Miami (OH)- 1, Northern Illinois- 0, Ohio- 0, Temple- 0, Toledo- 1, Western Michigan- 1

Mountain West (2): Air Force- 0, Boise State- 0, Colorado State- 1, New Mexico- 1, San Diego State- 0, TCU- 0, UNLV- 0, Wyoming- 0

Pacific-12 (21): Arizona- 1, Arizona State- 1, California- 4, Colorado- 0, Oregon- 2, Oregon State- 1, Stanford- 1, UCLA- 4, USC- 0, Utah- 0, Washington- 6, Washington State- 1

SEC (12): Alabama- 0, Arkansas- 1, Auburn- 2, Florida- 0, Georgia- 1, Kentucky- 2, LSU- 2, Mississippi State- 1, Mississippi- 2, South Carolina- 1, Tennessee- 0, Vanderbilt- 0

Sun Belt (1): Arkansas State- 0, Florida Atlantic- 1, Florida International- 0, Louisiana-Lafayette- 0, Louisiana-Monroe- 0, Middle Tennessee- 0, North Texas- 0, Troy- 0, Western Kentucky- 0

WAC (3): Fresno State- 0, Hawaii- 0, Idaho- 0, Louisiana Tech- 0, Nevada- 0, New Mexico State- 0, San Jose State- 3, Utah State- 0

When evaluating the AP Top 25 Rankings, 11 of the top 25 teams in the nation have not reported any concussions sustained within their own functioning units.  I think we all know that there is some concern in this, for the prevalence of the concussion injury is of no doubt at a higher rate than we have reported, but when considering the fact that a concussion occurs just about every 4 games played, we may come to find and realize that yes, this is an issue.  Imagine if teams were required to report injuries such as the institutional implementation utilized by the National Football League.

A few questions to close with…

1.  Should the NCAA implement a requirement for coaching staffs to report injuries?
2.  Will the NCAA take a more publicly aware proactive approach in educating and raising awareness of concussions?

Conversation is welcome.

JOHN GONOUDE

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One thought on “NCAA Reported-Concussion Study: Entering Week 6

  1. Cyndi Desrosiers October 4, 2011 / 19:36

    Obviously, not all teams are looking out for their players’ best interest, so yes, the coaches should be forced to report incidents of concussion…however, let’s also be sure to acknowledge that these men are adults- they need to take responsibility for their own health.

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