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Minn. doctors call for elimination of football from schools

November 24, 2015 / Football
A pair of Minnesota doctors have recommended that football be eliminated from our nation’s schools, arguing that the pressure and injury risks are too great for children.

Photo: Kevin Hoffman
Photo: Kevin Hoffman

Dr. Steven Miles and Dr. Shailendra Prasad, both from the University of Minnesota, disagreed with a recent report from the American Academy of Pediatrics that called to preserve tackle football while offering flag football and non-contact alternatives, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

From the article:

Miles said an outright ban on youth football would be unrealistic. But he is among the first to recommend removing football from schools, where the pressure of school spirit or being the only kid big enough to play nose guard can rope players into a sport in which 5 percent to 20 percent of players suffer concussions each season. 

“If you went to non-school leagues, those types of coercive pressures would end,” he said.

Miles said schools fail to warn athletes of concussion risks with consent forms that read like “negligence waivers for a roller coaster,” and justify participation with statements such as “everything in life has risks.”

Participation in high school football has declined by about 24,000 players over the last five years, but it remains the nation’s most popular interscholastic sport. The drop is presumably, in part, due to increased awareness of injuries and the long-term risks associated with football.

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