When it comes to long-term consequences, this story should scare the people in charge of college football even more than the concussion suits do.
“From a safety aspect, you can’t teach a kid everything he needs to know in two weeks,” said Chase Palmer, a school board member who played football at Marshall, referring to how long coaches had to get their seventh-grade teams ready before their first games.
However subtle, the change in thinking reflected in Marshall’s decision about football may signal trouble for the N.F.L. — and the sport more broadly. ESPN reported in November that participation in Pop Warner football declined nearly 10 percent from 2010 to 2012. Every young athlete steered away from football contributes to a gradual erosion of the sport that is, by far, the most popular in the United States. This happened to boxing during the past several decades after it became associated with brain damage.
I’m sure the NCAA will get right on it.