It’s an idea that is heresy to most sports fans. But you wonder where the science and the lawsuits may take us.
“It’s time to ban high school football,” a columnist in the Chicago Tribune proclaimed this week, claiming that the inevitability of concussive head trauma is too great to allow teenagers to continue with the game.
Preposterous? Perhaps. Unlikely? Most definitely.
Unsupported? Well, no. And that’s where the really troublesome issues lie.
There can be little doubt that concussions play a significant role in football. In any given season, about 20 percent of players sustain brain injuries, according to the Brain Injury Research Institute.
Those who are injured may experience symptoms and consequences — including diminished capacity — long after the bruising has healed.
What is more concerning is that we are just beginning to understand the effect of repetitive hits on those whose diagnosis does not rise to the level of a concussion.