Southern Miss Leads Charge for Concussion Crackdown - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Southern Miss Leads Charge for Concussion Crackdown

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Southern Miss strives to increase concussion awareness.

"Education, education, education," says Human Performance and Recreation Associate Professor Dr. Scott Piland.

The university's School of Human Performance and Recreation continues to conduct research on brain trauma, something Piland ties directly to football helmet safety.

"So if I get a helmet right out of the box, and I impact it, and I look at the job that it does to protect the brain, will it be the same level of protection 10 years down the road after a full life cycle of use?"

USM Student Health Services Health Educator Ashley Threatt supports the university's research, and stresses the need for appropriate funding.

"I think it's a combined effort. I think that our money should be put into technology as long as we're playing football, which I don't see any end to that in sight any time soon."

Accurate concussion information continues to surface, and USM Athletic Department Assistant Director for Sports Medicine Todd McCall says the football team structures practice accordingly.

"We're trying to be as careful with these guys [as possible]. Instead of hitting them all day, everyday, for two and a half hours, practices are changing so we don't have that level of contact."

After sustaining a concussion in this year's spring drills, Southern Miss sophomore cornerback Kalen Reed proves that head injury is an unavoidable facet of football.

Reed says medical personnel treated the injury well, but deems athletes responsible for identifying their own concussion symptoms.

"The players [are responsible] because they know what's going on with their bodies more than someone else knows what's going on with their bodies."

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