Article reposted from TU Sports Extra
Author: Kelly Hines
Football is getting a bad rap. The University of Tulsa is working to change that.
The Golden Hurricane and its athletic training staff teamed up with the Oklahoma Athletic Trainers’ Association in promoting increased football safety within the state.
“None of us want to see football go away,” said Dave Polanski, TU’s director of sports medicine. “We’re all big promoters of the sport, and football does a lot of great things for people.
“Everybody is worried about injuries and concussions and this and that, leading to the decline in football. We’re just trying to say, ‘You can do it safely.’ ”
Gov. Mary Fallin signed a proclamation that made this week “Safety in Football Campaign Days,” the goal of which is to help teams identify how to lessen the risks of injury and keep focus on the positive aspects of football.
Thirteen high school players died last year across the country, including one in Oklahoma, prompting more parents to decide against having their kids play football. Polanski said most injuries can be prevented by teaching proper technique and safety can be improved with the assistance of athletic trainers.
The high school level is where most of the injuries occur, but only 9 percent of Oklahoma high schools have a full-time athletic trainer, Polanski said, while that figure is more than 60 percent in Texas.
As part of the campaign, TU and other participating schools will wear helmet stickers with the logo of the OATA for their games this week.
“Safety has always been foremost in our minds as coaches and as teachers and as men who have played this game,” Hurricane coach Philip Montgomery said. “Obviously, I have a son who plays this game.
“I worry about his safety just like I worry about my players’ safety. But the game of football, if done correctly, teaches a whole lot about life.”