Did anybody watch the “Frontline” program on Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in the brains of National Football League players? It seems that research indicates that repeated head trauma is causing a form of encephalopathy — a big word for dementia. Of 46 autopsies performed on the brains of former players, 45 had the condition.
Wives and families of NFL players believe there are far more cases. Given the way the game is played today, it is impossible to avoid concussions; for most players, multiple concussions. In fact, injury-inducing hits are what get the loudest applause from the spectators.
Are we going to wait around to watch the same phenomenon showing up in former college football players or can we do the rational thing and separate our colleges from professional football? In spite of the successful efforts to brainwash the public, the game of football has no essential connection to higher education, or even to high schools. It’s clearly big business; but it serves no useful function for the student body.
It’s time to spend all that coaching money on helping every single student to improve athletic skills (without head trauma), control weight and live healthier lives.
If we can’t help our students physically, we can at least stop putting them at risk for lifelong disabilities.
Richard C. Massey