SBD/August 26, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NFL Hosts Concussion Think Tank With Medical Officials From FIFA, Other Sports

Medical officials from the NFL, FIFA and other sports organizations "are banding together to look into better ways to identify, manage and treat concussions," according to Barry Wilner of the AP. The groups met at the NFL's N.Y. HQ on Sunday and Monday for a "think tank," which was "funded by an educational grant" from the league. Dozens of scientific and medical personnel "from football, rugby and equestrian circles participated." NFL Head, Neck & Spine Committee Chair Rich Ellenbogen said the various sports organizations "need to look at all variations of what is being done around the world" (AP, 8/25). Dublin-based Int'l Rugby Board Chief Medical Officer Martin Raftery said, "We recognize every sport is unique, it's different, but we all have common problems … with respect to concussion. The solutions might be minimally different, but if we get together and share our information and knowledge and cooperate with research, then we're going to be moving forward." Australia-based Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health Associate Professor Paul McCrory, whose focus is Australian rules football, said, "I don't think one group's got the answer. I think it's really kind of pooling resources and getting the best bang for our buck" (USATODAY.com, 8/25).

CONCUSSION COUNT: In Philadelphia, Tom Mahon cites data from the @NFLconcussions Twitter feed as showing that there have "been 66 concussions in 49 NFL preseason games" so far this year. Former NFLer Dave Pear "isn't surprised." He said, "It's probably way more than that. In the preseason, guys want to make teams, so they aren't going to say they're hurt" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 8/26). FS1's Joel Klatt said concussions "are not going anywhere, and they're in this sport." Football is an inherently dangerous sport "played by increasingly athletic and large people and they move very fast." FS1's Petros Papadakis said of long-term solutions to minimize head trauma, "Other than the NFL trying to legally cover themselves for lawsuits down the road and the window dressing of, 'We're doing all these things to protect players' -- and that's a good thing, that's not a bad thing. But other than that, nothing. This is a sport that people love because of the impact" ("Fox Sports Live," FS1, 8/26).
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