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01/29/2013

Former Miami & Oklahoma coach isn't buying concussion panic talk

081111-CFB-Florida-Atlantic-coach-Howard-Schnellenberger-PI_20110811164219308_660_320At least one person is wondering if all of this concussion talk in football is a bit exaggerated. 

Former University of Miami, University of Oklahoma and forever football coach Howard Schnellenberger is in the area to take part in the Texas vs. The Nation football game that is scheduled to be played at Eagle Stadium in Allen, Texas on Saturday, Feb. 2.

We recently spoke and I asked him what he thought of President Obama's comments regarding football safety as well as what Baltimore Ravens defender Bernard Pollard said about the future of football because of rules, etc.

Schnellenberger was not aware that Obama said that, if he had a son, he would have to think "long and hard" about whether to allow him to play football.

"Oh, good grief," Schnellenberger said.

"I am worried about the injuries of any kind to any player. But I am skeptical of some of these numbers and how this thing is playing out. I am saying this because I have been in this game for 50 years. I look back at my personal experience; I had a concussion when I was a freshman in high school. I was knocked out cold. Went home, had supper, went to bed, and went to school the next day and practiced. That was it. And I played 15 years of football.

Bernard-pollard-1"Of all the players I've coached or seen after 54 years, I've looked to see if my, or any of my friends, know of any players have had major consequences from head trauma playing football in college or professional. I can’t remember any. I understand that there is great evidence now that there is something happening that some of these players are getting injured. For the life of me I can’t figure out the numbers – how can 300 guys line up in a class action suit at this time?

"I have spent a lot of time on this. When I started at Florida Atlantic we had a lot of our players take a test that included basically taking a picture of their brain, so we could get a baseline on them before they were injured. We had concussions and things but we never came up with anything that said football was a game that had problems."

 

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