The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday September 25th

UNC must use new position to further concussion studies

It’s a hard-knock life for some former NFL players. And now, UNC will be on the forefront of helping those players fight their battles.

The NFL Player Association’s decision to partner with UNC on its new initiative called “The Trust,” which provides support and medical services to former players, honors the work and research UNC has conducted on football-related concussions.

The immediate inclusion of UNC in “The Trust” is a testament to its role as a pioneer in a topic that many people were not aware of until recently. It has only come to light within the last couple of years the severe consequences that some players suffer as a result of concussions.

UNC has been on the cutting edge of concussion research with the introduction of Head Impact Telemetry system in 2004, which measures the force and location of hits that players receive.
The data collected from HIT has been instrumental in rule changes across the NCAA and the NFL, including moving the kickoff in college football up five yards.

The dedication and commitment of UNC to concussion-related research should be commended. Yet UNC should not just stop with former NFL players. Concussions affect athletes of all ages and skill level all across the country.

The NFL has the ability to protect and provide for its players but many other athletes do not have that protection.

With its involvement in “The Trust,” UNC has the opportunity and the responsibility to lead the charge in continuing the conversation about concussions and demanding that athletes be protected.

In the end, the NFL’s decision to partner with UNC illustrates that UNC is a world-class research institution with the potential to be an innovator.

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