By Ken Reed

Dr. Robert Cantu and Chris Nowinski of the Sports Legacy Institute have asked the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to warn athletes about the risk of developing Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) from repetitive brain trauma in sports.

“CTE can be a devastating neurological disease, and anyone voluntarily exposing themselves to repeated brain trauma should be warned of the consequences, even though we cannot yet perfectly quantify the risk,” said Cantu, a brain specialist at Boston University School of Medicine and a co-director of the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy.

CTE is a progressive brain disease believed to be caused by repetitive trauma to the brain, including concussions or sub concussive blows to the head.

The NFL, while lax in this area for years, has, since 2010, given education materials to players about the potential long-term effects from brain trauma. It’s time NCAA athletes received the same type of educational information.

“Athletes deserve to have informed consent and the opportunity to modify their behavior based on the established science,” said Nowinski, a former All-Ivy defensive lineman for Harvard University.

It’s safe to say that the vast majority of today’s college football players don’t know a thing about CTE, or any other long-term neurological conditions related to brain trauma. It’s the NCAA’s responsibility to educate them — and all other college athletes involved in sports in which head trauma is a fairly common risk.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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