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Title: Concussion in Football: Improving the Game, Changing the Culture
Authors: Powers, William III
Advisors: Vogl, Tom
Department: Woodrow Wilson School
Class Year: 2015
Abstract: This paper examines and addresses the issue of concussions at the different levels of football. It first discusses the science of a concussion, including how they are caused, what happens to the brain when one suffers a head injury, and the specific dangers that they pose to the developing brain. It then narrates the history of the concussion issue in football, with a focus on the ignorance and denial of the problem by the NFL. The next chapter centers on where the game and the concussion issue within it is presently. This chapter defines a current ‘culture of resistance’ around the game that, despite many efforts to increase education and improve the game, still lingers with many players and fans. The succeeding chapter introduces ways to protect the game and prevent concussions. It begins by providing a defense of football at the youth level, then by introducing proposals that are intended to reduce the number of and improve the management of concussions, as well as institute a culture shift. The concluding chapter discusses additional research and includes five recommendations that can be enacted to institute a safer environment for all sports. These recommendations include increasing surveillance of concussions, improving diagnosis and management, developing a further understanding of the consequences of brain injury, improving gameplay rules, and fostering an overall safer culture.
Extent: 107 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Woodrow Wilson School, 1929-2017

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