I'll be blunt.
I think having your son starting playing tackle football at an early age is stupid. I am fully cognizant of the fact that by making that statement I've pissed off a lot of youth coaches and a lot of fathers along with them, but were you to take the findings of the study linked below seriously, you would not allow your son to participate in youth football until 8th or 9th grade.
I get the idea of getting kids involved in sports early, but there are other options. There are a lot of other sports available and sports like soccer teach a young boy skills, such as footwork and teamwork, that they'll need to be successful in football later on.
I don't understand the need to start football in the third grade. I don't understand why a five or six year old would be wearing pads and a helmet. I understand that there's still a stigma attached to soccer as a "European sport" and that parents don't understand the sport and feel intimidated by it. I understand you might feel it doesn't make your son "tough enough", and why that would keep you from seeing flag football as a reasonable option of teaching the fundamentals of the sport until their brain
The cynical side of me wonders if you're thinking that by the time the long term effects of concussions come around, you'll be dead and it'll be your son's problem to deal with anyway. He might be a star (even in 4th grade), and certainly you can bask in that glory and relive your youth vicariously through your child. (I don't know a father who wouldn't at least entertain that thought, including myself.)
Studies like the one linked aren't going away. They will have an affect on parental decisions. Football will have to continue to change. Perhaps one change would be to eliminate full tackle football until the 5th, 6th or 7th grades. We wouldn't see those cute commercials with little tykes running for touchdowns. I don't see why that isn't a sacrifice we are prepared to make.
If you disagree with the sentiment that kids shouldn't be playing football at an early age, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email (email@example.com). I'd welcome any thoughts you might have on the subject.
Study of Retirees Links Youth Football to Brain Problems - NYTimes.com
A new study of N.F.L. retirees found that those who began playing tackle football when they were younger than 12 years old had a higher risk of developing memory and thinking problems later in life.
Conclusions: There is an association between participation in tackle football prior to age 12 and greater later-life cognitive impairment measured using objective neuropsychological tests. These findings suggest that incurring repeated head impacts during a critical neurodevelopmental period may increase the risk of later-life cognitive impairment. If replicated with larger samples and longitudinal designs, these findings may have implications for safety recommendations for youth sports.
This is the link to the actual study, for which you must pay.
A New Paradigm of Coaching and Fanbases - Off Tackle Empire
OTE Sports meets OTE Science meets the mind of MNW!
Navy Midshipmen eligibility for bowl to be discussed by College Football Playoff management committee - ESPN
The College Football Playoff's management committee will discuss Navy's eligibility for this season's New Year's Six bowls because of the academy's new conference affiliation and the timing of its annual game against Army. Navy will join the American Athletic Conference in the fall.
The commissioners' concern is if the Midshipmen are ranked high enough to earn one of the New Year's Six bowl bids -- and then lose the following week to Army. That loss would not count toward Navy's final ranking, penalizing other teams that would have earned a New Year's Six bowl bid if the loss was factored in.
Jimbo Fisher contract extension with Florida State details - Tomahawk Nation
Here's what you need to know: -Fisher will earn $5M as a base compensation in 2015, with a raise of $100K in each successive year, culminating with him earning a base of $5.7M in 2022. That makes him among the sport's highest paid coaches.
A Brief Look at Cost of Attendance - Team Speed Kills
It means different things to different schools.
Which college football teams improved and regressed the most over 2014 - Football Study Hall
Using a weekly percentile rating to look at which college football teams improved and regressed the most over the course of the 2014 season.
Breaking: President Boren Expected To Delay Stadium Renovations - Crimson And Cream Machine
During the summer of 2014, the Board of Regents approved a $370 million proposal to renovate the Gaylord Memorial Stadium. Fast forward to Wednesday when David Boren, the president of the University of Oklahoma, decided to postpone renovations until a further notice according to the fellas over at SoonerScoop.com.
This is a State of the Union-type of proclamation to let all you StitchHeads know that I am ready to go for 2015 and Easton is on board again as the best supplier of equipment for our game AND the biggest supporter of the advancement of our sport. Once again, I ask you out there to try and think of another company that solely supports a college baseball outlet like Easton does. You can’t.
COLLEGE BASEBALL IS COMING SOON!
Eric Sorenson is one of very few sportswriters covering college baseball nationally. You should support him, and in his first column of the season he clues you in as to what's going on with D1baseball.com, another site you should support.
Welcome Aboard - Drake Martinez - The Only Colors
The former Nebraska Cornhusker brings the 2015 class to 16 commits
Vernon Adams to visit Oregon - Addicted To Quack
The Eastern Washington star has been reportedly offered a scholarship for his final year at Oregon. Is this awesome or will it suck?
CARING IS CREEPY: 2015 FOOTBALL RECRUITING PRIMER - Black Heart Gold Pants
Creepmas is coming, Creepmas is coming! Time to get all caught up on Iowa's 2015 football recruiting.
Wisconsin football recruiting: Updates on Davon Crookshank, Jake Pickard as National Signing Day nears - Bucky's 5th Quarter
A quick check-in with the Wisconsin Badgers as National Signing Day approaches.
Penn State Picks Up Second Big Ten Win With 63-58 Victory Over Minnesota - Black Shoe Diaries
It wasn't pretty, but the Nittany Lions moved to 2-6 in the conference and 14-7 overall with a victory over the Gophers.
How Michigan's Roster Keeps Fighting Despite Injuries - BT Powerhouse
Michigan beat Nebraska at home, 58-44, without Derrick Walton Jr. or Caris LeVert. We break down the victory and key players here.
11 photos of Matt Painter pointing at things - The Crimson Quarry
More like Matt Pointer, amirite?
Tom Crean Clapping At Things - Hammer and Rails
Et tu, Crimson Quarry.
Iowa to provide extra security around Dakich - TheGazette
Iowa athletics will ramp up security around ESPN broadcaster Dan Dakich during the Hawkeyes’ basketball game Saturday against No. 5 Wisconsin at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. During Iowa’s 82-50 loss at Wisconsin last week, Dakich called Hawkeyes center Adam Woodbury "cowardly" and "gutless" after the junior twice poked eyes of Wisconsin players.
New Era Scouting – 2015 Draft Interview: Corey Cooper, S, Nebraska
Scott Porter: What are your goals for the NFL? Corey Cooper: My first and most important goal is to work hard to make an NFL roster. After that I want to excel on special teams and work my way into a starting position. I am going to train real hard to accomplish those as those are my more immediate goals for myself.
Former Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah joined "The Bottom Line" on Tuesday with host Mike’l Severe and guest co-host Joe Ganz. Here's a transcript from some of the interview. For the full discussion, check out the video above the story.
Pasquale Named to Player-of-the-Year Watch List - Huskers.com - Nebraska Athletics Official Web Site
Nebraska senior catcher Steph Pasquale, a first-year transfer from Temple, was one of 50 players nationally named to the USA Softball College Player of the Year Watch List, announced on Wednesday.
Darin Erstad on Tickets, Twitter, Dunking and More - Huskers.com - Nebraska Athletics Official Web Site
ortunately, The N-Sider caught up with Erstad in his office Wednesday, so we could get Nebraska’s fourth-year head coach’s thoughts on his baseball team, season ticket sales, social media, and even those who might want to dunk him at a free Fan Fest event at the Hawks Championship Center a week from Friday.