Head injuries and their long-term effects on athletes is a hot topic around the NFL and the NCAA. With the real possibility of countless lawsuits seeking millions in damages, both organizations are scrambling to find ways to make the naturally violent game safer.
In an attempt to prevent concussions sustained in practice, the South Carolina Gamecock football team will take the field for their first preseason football practice Friday night wearing Guardian Caps. Guardian caps are padded helmet covers made of polyurethane that according to their website reduce impact up to 33%.
South Carolina tested the helmet covers on 32 of their linemen this spring and liked them so much the decided to place an order for the entire team.
Guardian caps, which have been used predominately by high school football players, do have their skeptics. The Colorado High School Activities Association has banned the use of the helmets in games, and the California youth league and other school districts have either cancelled or returned orders, seeking more information on them
As health concerns rise, expect more and more companies to come up with new “innovative” products that claim to prevent or reduce head injuries. The question is, in a sport where hard hits are celebrated is this possible without damaging the integrity of the game?