NCAA developing sports science institute aimed at improving player safety

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INDIANAPOLIS – The NCAA plans to open a national sports science institute aimed at making college sports safer.

The announcement came in response to comments from President Barack Obama, who said that if he had a son, he wasn’t sure he’d let him play football. The president voiced growing concerns about player safety and head injuries.

In a statement emailed to Fox59, the NCAA said student-athlete safety is one of its “foundational principles.”

“Throughout its history, the Association and its member institutions and conferences have specifically addressed the prevention of student-athlete injuries through a combination of playing rules, equipment requirements, medical best practices and policies,” the statement said.

“In an effort to identify solutions and opportunities to ensure student-athlete health and safety, the NCAA will continue to lead extensive outreach and collaboration with the medical, scientific and athletics communities,” the NCAA continued.

The NCAA said the NCAA Sports Science Institute would provide health and medical expertise and research for players, coaches, administrators and medical staff. The organization also said it would include a national task force for college football safety.

Dr. Brian Hainline will oversee the new institute. The organization tapped him as its first chief medical officer in October. A neurologist with extensive sports medicine expertise, Hainline is a leading sports medicine advocate with more than two decades of experience.

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