Earlier this summer, I reportedabout new standards for metal bats that will be used for high schoolbaseball teams in California.The latest piece of athletic gear to come under fire is the football helmet,after the suicideof a college star earlier this year.
Last spring, football star Owen Thomas, who played at the University of Pennsylvania, shocked those who knew himby committing suicide. An autopsy later showed that he had chronic traumaticencephalopathy, or CTE, which are brain injuries caused by repetitive trauma tothe head. CTE has been linked to impulsive behavior and depression.
CTE has been found in 21 NFL players, including AndreWaters, who also committed suicide. However, Owen Thomas was the youngest (age21) player and the first college player to have been diagnosed with thedisease. He was never diagnosed with a concussion.
New research has shown that even a minor hit to the head canhave a long-term health impact. Football helmets have come under fire for beingpartially to blame for the increasingly serious head injuries endured byfootball players. Some say the new high-tech football helmets lead players totake more risks, because they have a false sense of security. In fact, onefootball analyst believes players would be better off using old fashionedleather helmets, because players would be more cautious of head injuries.