Full-contact football has seen a rise in catastrophic brain injuries, according to research at UNC.
According to the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research, injuries result mainly from tackling. Head-to-head contact was banned in 1976 but continues to be part of the game and can lead to spine fractures or permanent brain injuries.
The center aims to eliminate incidences of death among football players through research on preventing cervical cord injuries.
UNC’s Fred Mueller helped write the report and is also director of the center. He is a professor emeritus of exercise and sports science.
He said while significant gains in research have been made for football brain injuries, the number of injuries continues to rise.
This growing rate might be due to many coaches’ recent awareness of injury prevention.