Senior Thesis — rough ideas

Unfortunately, concussions have become an almost integral part of American football. Despite the increased safety measures taken by the NFL in recent years to minimize head damage (including innovations to make helmets safer), some studies suggest that collegiate football players are significantly more likely to suffer concussions than collegiate rugby players — indicating that concussions may simply be an inherent part of playing football (due to the tackling methods commonly used in the sport). It has also come to light that the NFL attempted to obscure the details surrounding concussions in American football, misleading its athletes and leading to billions of dollars worth of lawsuits filed by the NFLPA.

My senior thesis will seek to analyze why concussions are so prevalent in American football, discuss potential solutions to this problem, and argue that the NFL should have done more to protect its athletes in its early years. I plan to contact local football coaches (such as Coach Perry) and interview CHS students who have suffered multiple concussions to see what they believe is being done or should be done to protect young football players. I also plan to work with the local hospital to gain insight into what local medical experts have to say about the relationship between brain injuries and American football. I will attempt to answer the following research questions:

  1. Are concussions more prevalent in American football than in other comparable sports (such as Rugby) at the following levels: high school, collegiate, and professional?
  2. If so, why?
  3. Can anything be done to reduce the severity of head injuries in American football?

And will argue that:

  1. The NFL misled its players and did not do enough to protect them from head trauma in the time period between the 1970’s and today.