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By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Christopher Nowinski
Head injuries have left the NFL under unflinching scrutiny over the past year. At the NCAA level, however, the issue has escaped similar furor.
In October, a helmet-to-helmet hit spun University of Southern California wide receiver Robert Woods around 180 degrees while he was blocking on a kick return against the University of Utah.
The North Side Raiders look like little men as they take the field for their Pee Wee football game in the opening scene of "Head Games," their shoulder pads and helmets dwarfing the rest of their small bodies.
The Sports Legacy Institute is proposing a "hit count" for young athletes to limit their exposure to potential brain trauma.
Kids playing contact sports are suffering too many blows to the head, and an advocacy group is calling for a "hit count" to total them up before it's too late.
Already at the forefront of research on the effects of repeated blows to the head, Chris Nowinski is trying to raise awareness at a grass-roots level and he hopes former players will lend a hand.
Former New England Revolution star Taylor Twellman said Friday that the Major League Soccer team ignored his symptoms of multiple concussions, even sending him back on the field after he said "I have a concussion" following the hit that eventually forced him to retire.
Researchers studying the brain of seven-time All-Star Rick Martin found damage consistent with the trauma they found in other former NHL players. The difference is Martin wasn't a fighter.
Dave Duerson, a former NFL player who committed suicide in February, had "moderately advanced" brain damage related to blows to the head, according to the researcher who made the diagnosis.
The family of former Bears safety Dave Duerson has agreed to donate his brain for research into chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a condition linked to athletes who have sustained repeated concussions.
Former Bears safety Dave Duerson died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest, according to The Chicago Tribune, and the co-director of a medical school program told The Associated Press on Saturday night that his family has agreed to donate his brain for research.
Jim McMahon recently ran into some ex-teammates from the 1986 Super Bowl champion Chicago Bears, and the conversation went something like this: "How are you feeling? Are you forgetting stuff like me?"
The violent hit that left Cincinnati Bengals receiver Jordan Shipley with a concussion was an illegal one, earning Cleveland Browns safety T.J. Ward a $15,000 fine.
Football's violent nature is part of its wide appeal. But as more is learned about the long-term damage of head trauma and the NFL puts increased emphasis on preventing concussions, broadcasters have to walk a fine line between savoring good, tough play and glorifying hits that can cause serious harm.
The HBO cameras are rolling in New York, where this season's "Hard Knocks" could make a star out of Jets coach Rex Ryan _ and send parents across the country scurrying for the mute button on the remote control.
' is just incredibly disappointing."
"The fact there was no punishment for the program or even a statement alerting people that, 'Hey, we should do better next time,' is just incredibly disappointing."