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Wisconsin schools spending on top-rated football helmets

September 12, 2014 / FootballSports Medicine & Nutrition
A television station in Madison, Wisconsin, published a piece Thursday taking a look into how local high schools are spending more on state-of-the-art football helmets in an attempt to combat concussions.

The report revealed that schools are paying thousands of dollars for new helmets, with at least one Madison school spending more than $23,000. The expense can be difficult to justify in many school districts, but those interviewed for the story indicated booster money does play a critical role.

From the story on Channel3000.com:

Athletic directors from Madison’s four high schools, Sun Prairie, Monona Grove, Brodhead, Lancaster, Fall River, Blackhawk and Potosi report averagely spending between $2,000 and $14,000 in budget and booster dollars, buying and reconditioning some of the most expensive helmets.

“Without a doubt it’s one of the biggest parts of our athletic budget,” Brodhead athletic director Brian Kammerer said. “That’s a cost we have to dip into our budget and figure out where that’s going to come from.”

Kammerer approximates Brodhead’s yearly helmet budget is $4,000, saying that overall price goes beyond piece of mind.

“The No. 1 thought has to be about the safety of your student-athlete on the field,” Kammerer said.

To many Brodhead-Juda parents like Pam Colden, the five-star, $230 to $275 Riddell helmet her son Brady wears helps ease her concussion concerns.

“I’m sure he’s safe out there, as much as he can be,” Colden said. “The helmets are all brand-new that they have here for the football players.”

Peace of mind is certainly a factor for schools and parents. It depends on who you talk to, but it’s widely believe that new helmet technology doesn’t do a whole lot in the way of preventing concussions. Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy wore one of these helmets in the season opener against Seattle and suffered a concussion. He’s now switching back to his old helmet. That’s not to say they can’t have an impact, but there seems to be just as much focus (if not more) on proper techniques and strength training.

I’m interested in hearing whether other high schools nationally are doing the same thing. I’ve also heard of schools that choose to spend money on sensors instead of new helmets. That way when a potential concussion has occurred, they can identify and address it immediately.

If you have thoughts or experience on the issue, send us an email at [email protected] and let us know what your school is doing.

Click here to read the full story at Channel3000.com.


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