There seems to be some resistance in the coaching ranks to eliminating kickoffs. I almost hate to say it, but Bobby Petrino has a point.
“They always come out and say it would help with concussions but nobody shows you the statistics,” Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said. “Does it really help? One year we didn’t like that the ball was being kicked out of the end zone so we moved it back so we’d get more returns. It’s kind of who’s the special interest on it. It’s always been a big part of the football game, but if it is causing injuries and it’s something that we need to take away to improve that, we could get away with it. But is it really?”
We know why the chatter’s there. The NCAA is finally waking up, not out of some idealistic concern about players’ well being, but because the lawsuit threat is gaining serious traction. Petrino’s right to insist that a knee-jerk reaction to that isn’t the best way to address the problem. It’s just that it’s all the NCAA’s got right now to show the world — okay, plaintiffs’ lawyers — that it cares.
I hate to drag the NFL into the discussion, but if the schools want to show they’re truly getting serious, maybe the conferences ought to take a page out of this book and start fining the crap out of programs that don’t adhere to strict concussion policies. Money seems to be the one language that every school understands these days.