Falcons take to the sky for athlete safety
Football coaches have long enjoyed the benefit of assistants perched in the press box providing a more comprehensive view of the action than what is available to those on the sidelines.
Air Force is going to grant that same luxury to its training staff this year.
The Falcons will place two certified athletic trainers from its staff in a press box room for each home game. The trainers will have access to a video feed directly from the television truck that will be equipped with a digital recording device that will allow them to review plays. They’ll also have binoculars to track the action and will have communication headsets similar to what coaches use along with a direct phone line to the sidelines to alert the on-field trainers when a player needs to be removed from the action.
“There are times on the field where we may not be able to see because players on the field are blocking us or maybe we’re busy tending to somebody else,” Air Force’s head athletic trainer for football Erick Kozlowski said. “We’ll now have two more sets of eyes up in the press box looking down to give us an extra hand on whatever we need.
Some conferences have already implemented similar procedures to include more medical personnel on the action.
The Big Ten and SEC will each employ unaffiliated trainers with the power to buzz officials to stop play and remove a player after a suspected injury. The Mountain West has not adopted a policy yet, but it is not stopping its members from trying new ways of preventing serious injuries.
“If it helps one guy then it’s absolutely worth it,” coach Troy Calhoun said.