Quick Hits

The Ivy League once again takes proactive steps in regards to concussions.  After reducing contact days in football last year, the league Presidents approved similar changes for lacrosse and soccer;

The league announced Monday that its presidents accepted a series of recommendations made by a committee, including the possibility of suspension for hits to the head. The changes, which also will limit the amount of contact in practice, will take effect this fall for men and women.

The recommendations call for continued emphasis on educational initiatives. Consistent with current protocols, preseason meetings will emphasize learning and recognizing the signs of concussions, as well as the importance of reporting symptoms of concussions.

The Ivy league will next turn its attention on hockey.

I truly appreciate what the Ivy League is doing; non-radial with little to no cost moves that will be reassessed as time goes on.  I don’t know why it takes the smartest schools to make simple changes.  Honestly do you think they were the first to figure out that decreasing exposure will decrease concussions?


Lester Munson of ESPN gives a insiders perspective of the law suits the former NFL players have filed;

The numbers are reaching the point where the litigation now qualifies as “mass tort,” a legal term that has been used to describe litigation on tobacco, asbestos and toxic medications.

The players are also demanding in a separate class action lawsuit that the NFL fund a program of medical monitoring for all former players (even those who did not play enough to qualify for retirement benefits), a program that would provide periodic examinations for early signs of concussion damage. The number of retired NFL players is uncertain, but players’ lawyers and their union estimate that there are at least 20,000 players who would be covered in the program. If the examinations include brain scans and clinical evaluations every two years as recommended by experts, anyone who has recently looked at a medical bill will know that the cost per player would quickly exceed $30,000. It would be a total cost to the NFL of $600 million for current retirees, with additional expenses as additional players retire.

The combined total loss of $2.1 billion for the NFL is a worst-case scenario. The lawyers representing the players will have to answer the league’s legal arguments and discover evidence to support their assertions that the league knew of the consequences of concussions, actively concealed them from players, and even misled players and the public with bogus medical opinions.


Picking through the data is important with current research on concussion rates.  That is how Ryan Jaslow assessed the newest information about increases in the injury among Air Force, Navy and Army football teams;

Preliminary research presented today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s annual meeting in Baltimore finds a significant increase in the number of concussions reported at three college football programs between seasons.

The study compared concussion rates among football players who played for the Army, Navy and Air Force teams during the 2009-2010 season with rates for the 2010-2011 seasons, and found the number of concussion jumped from 23 reports to 42 reports in that time span.[…]

The findings may not however indicate that more players are getting hurt, but may be a function of increased awareness and new concussion measures the NCAA put in place in April 2010.[…]

“The timing of the new NCAA regulations and the increase in reported concussions could certainly be attributed to under-reporting from players and coaches in the past,” study author Dr. Kelly Kilcoyne, a researcher at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, DC., said in a press release. “Such an increase is still notable, and we need continued studies in football and other sports to find out more.”


Chris Nowinski was interviewed and had some good thoughts about where we stand on concussions today.  You can CLICK HERE for the link to the radio interview.


3 thoughts on “Quick Hits

  1. joe bloggs July 18, 2012 / 08:31

    The Ivy league leads the way because sports supports its core mission of education. All the Universities in the conference have first rate medical schools that keep the nonsense to a minimum. The conference’s brand is based on academic excellence so its researchers a loath to compromise themselves to appease and AD/

    Yale’s football coach is a great guy but he knows why he is present and what he is there to do. D1 Bowl Schools are minor league professional teams in the revenue sports and run over the administrations. The tail is wagging the dog in too many places. The NCAA can’t decide to impose the death sentence of PSU because it might upset TV contracts. Perhaps the NCAA needs to commit sepuku, Japanese ritual suicide, for the disgraceful nature in which it conducts itself.

  2. Glenn Beckmann July 19, 2012 / 10:36

    While it’s certainly understandable to want to react this way to the Penn State tragedy, it’s also worth noting that there is another side to this story – a side that has nothing to do with being a JoePa, Penn State or football apologist.

    Killing the football program at Penn State would create many more innocent victims of the tragedy. One of my favorite bloggers, Joe Favorito, puts it better than I ever could here:


    Some people have said that in State College there are still apologists, and the students who rioted should be punished, and taking away football for a year is the way to do that. For sure those students who rioted should be punished if they haven’t been already, but will a season away really change the minds of the narrowminded? Doubtful. All it will do is create new innocent victims, and there have been way too many victims already of this horrible series of events. Remove the statue, remodel the showers, maybe even change the uniforms, but don’t create problems for even more lives.

    It’s worth the read, even if you don’t change your mind.

  3. Dorothy Bedford July 19, 2012 / 13:52

    As Joe says, the Ivy League cares about concussion prevention because its core mission is really education. It expects to graduate cognitively intact students so they can go on to lead useful lives. Which is not to say the students are couch potatoes: for example, over 70% of Princeton students participate in varsity, club or intramural athletics. But I doubt it is the medical schools, which are very separate from the undergraduate programs. Kudos to the Directors of Athletic Medicine, such as Margot Putukian, M.D. (again at Princeton). A former Big Ten doc, but also a passionate and effective concussion advocate

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