WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

If it can happen in east Texas...

In the overall scheme of things, it's just a tiny development, just the first recognition of the lasting negative health effects from kids playing football.

But a school board in eastern Texas has eliminated tackle football for 7th graders. That's right. In eastern Texas, where football is like a religion.

Granted, they'll still be playing touch football. And granted, no such similar thing has happened at the high school or collegiate level. But it's a start.



Posted at 7:50am on May 12, 2014 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Mon, May 12, 2014 8:16am
The Republican Party has already come out against this, knowing full well that if they stop kids from having concussions while playing football, there will no longer be suckers entering the voter pool who will vote Republican.. You would have to have rocks in your head to ever vote Republican. Concussions help form rocks in people's heads.

Mike from Delaware
Mon, May 12, 2014 8:40am
The other thing that might kill the sport in junior high/middle schools would be the cost of the insurance coverage schools would need.

I've heard of places eliminating their playground equipment, due to the high cost of insurance coverage. Locally, the Howard Weston Senior Center used to be an elementary school until sold and converted into the Senior Center back in the 1980's. For many years, they kept the playground equipment, adding newer plastic stuff as the old stuff wore out. One day the playground stuff disappeared. The manager of the Weston Center said that due to the excessive cost of liability insurance, the center could no longer afford to provide playground facilities for the neighborhood kids. So the playground equipment was dismantled and that former playground is a grass field with 'No Trespassing' signs so the legal requirements have been met.

So in a similar vein, when a lawsuit or the price of their liability insurance soars, that's when you'll really see junior high/middle school football become touch or non-existent. That trend could also happen at the high school level. Follow the money. Schools are afraid of lawsuits and when the cost of protecting themselves via insurance skyrockets up, at some point they'll have to say we can no longer afford to have tackle football at our school.

Or one other option might be that some legal eagle will come up with a plan where the parents have to sign off on an ironclad waver that specifically states, in no uncertain terms, of the probability that your child can and will be injured, and waiving any and all liability of the school for ANY sports-related injury to their child in order for that child to play ANY sport. Essentially, the parents would be a signing away their right to sue the school for as long as their child is in the sports programs at that school.

Sadly many parents would sign it and gamble their child doesn't get seriously injured.

Mon, May 12, 2014 11:42am
I agree with Mr. Loudell’s bias… favoring scholastic education over the preoccupation of too many Americans (and others worldwide) with athletics.

Another way of preventing injuries in Middle-school/High-School/College/Pro sports (and improve scholastic education) is to switch up the entire “rewards” system…too many parents see sports as the only way they will ever be able to afford sending their kids to college, and another group of parents view their kids as a lottery ticket if they make it all the way to the Pros.

Remove the “rewards” and sports would return back to what it once was…fun, exercise and physical education. The “rewards” should also be removed from the Pro-sports (NFL, NHL, NBA)…tax these groups like everyone else and let them pay their “fair share”. At this point-in-time these Pros are tax-exempt…how is that “FAIR”?
And, make education affordable…college costs have increased far more than the income of most Americans…then less students/parents will see sports as the only answer for further education.

kavips: If you view all Republicans as one group…isn’t that the same as racism/profiling? Start looking at people as individuals and many of our current political problems/games would end.

For example: IF both sides want an informed electorate and better educated students...shouldn't Republicans and Democrats agree to dismantle/completely remove Common Core from our schools?

Allan Loudell
Mon, May 12, 2014 11:58am
Mr. Grey---

You're correct about the rewards system, and I bring this up whenever I address an audience which includes administrators in higher education.

It is cockamamied and hardly prioritizes on a logical, rational basis.

That said... many academic scholarships are rather obscure and go wanting...

Allan Loudell

Mon, May 12, 2014 12:14pm
Mr. Loudell: Maybe the "obscure academic scholarships" should be better "advertised" or maybe done away with and make education affordable for everyone...Progressive College costs? (like the Progressive tax code).

These "obscure" scholarships are much like the "obscure" tax loopholes that only professional CPAs know about.

Allan Loudell
Mon, May 12, 2014 1:13pm
The academic scholarships to which I refer often come from ethnic, religious, or other special interest groups. Many are beyond the control of the universities.

In fairness, many or most offer only some support... not like a pay-all-expenses, athletic scholarship.

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