Ga. university studying football concussion risks

STATESBORO, Ga. (AP) — Georgia Southern University is using a $385,000 grant to study the impact of concussions on football players, school officials said Thursday.

University President Brooks Keel told WALB that Georgia Southern was the recipient of a grant from the National Institutes of Health, and is using technology called the Helmet Impact Telemetry System — or HITS — to record every blow football players take to their heads during games and practice sessions.

The system has been implanted in 40 helmets, and officials say six sensors in each helmet measure the severity of impacts to the head.

“I’ve been here ten years and this is the first thing to tell us how hard a hit these guys are taking,” trainer Brandy Clouse told WTOC-TV. “This allows us to get that information right as it happens.”

The system is not meant for diagnostic or medical purposes, but serves as an early warning indicator to help coaches and athletes try minimizing the risk of injuries, professor of athletic training Tom Buckley said.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a problem or a concussion,” Georgia Southern assistant biomechanics professor Barry Munkasy told WTOC-TV. “But they know there’s possibly a problem — and not an hour from now — but right now on the field.”

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