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TU Athletic Staff Working To Protect Players From Sub-Concussions

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

At the University of Tulsa, the athletic staff is trying to come up with a way to protect their players from sub-concussions.

Laura Wilson, a professor of communication sciences, started a pilot study along with members of the Athletic training staff, due to previous research on sub-concussive hits showing brain damage.

"If there are functional implications, if it does affect the players then perhaps we can use that as another tool to modify the kind of drills we do our the length of our practices,” said Wilson.

So, they created a scientific experiment; around 20 players at different positions were picked. The experiment started with brain testing before spring football, and before practice balance and reaction time is measured. Players wear helmets with sensors installed, and the staff monitors for alerts. Afterward, players fill out a survey. So far, it's been successful.

"The players have been very receptive to the four-step process and collecting the data day in and day out,” said Rachel Hildebrand of the athletic training staff.

"The study will help us show we have a decrease amount of hits verses some other teams,” explained Head Athletic Director David Polanski. “Also, we'll be able to look at certain people and say, ‘Well, this person got a lot of hits to the front of his head or the side of his head,’ .and try to figure out why he's doing that."

It's a case study, not to warn of the danger of football but to keep the game they love safe.

"I don't think sub-concussive hits means players should stop playing,” said Wilson. “There's no evidence to support that."

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