Is Anyone Protecting Youth Football Players?
While Congress and the National Football League battle over the league’s reluctance to fund a study on brain injuries that might have been caused by athletes playing football, the people who should really be interested in the fight between politicians and a multi-billion dollar business are grade school administrators and school board members. The reason? If there is an established link between playing football and brain injuries insurance rates for grade schools will skyrocket and parents might be very reluctant to allow their children to play tackle football. In 2015, there were more than a half dozen children who died as a result of being injured on the football field.
Insurance costs for football as a line item in a budget for school boards could become very problematic. In New York State, there is a penalty for school districts where a tax increase exceeds a two percent cap. Many school districts have decided that the arts, whether it is art or music, have become too costly and have severely cut back or eliminated arts as a school offered program. That is the type of question that school administrators and school board members will have to figure out. In Texas though, it seems football will win out if the latest school bonding votes are analyzed with mega high-school football stadiums resembling pro and college facilities being approved by voters as part of a bond issue. Although, the stadiums were thrown into a one size fits all package with other school needs not separated in those votes. Colleges make no effort to take care of players who left it all on the field for some school when the player leaves the school and begins to show symptoms of all sorts of ailments. Perhaps Congress needs to forget the NFL and hold hearings on youth football safety because that is where the injuries start.
By Evan Weiner for The Politics of Sports Business.
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.