This doesn’t strike me as good news for the sport’s future.
Just days before the Super Bowl, 48 percent of Americans say they’d encourage a child who wanted to play football to play a different sport due to concerns about concussions — up 8 points since the same question was asked four years ago, according to the latest national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
That includes 46 percent of parents with a child in the household (up 9 points since 2014), 53 percent of mothers (up 13 points) and 39 percent of fathers (up 6 points).
If you want a picture painted, here you go.
That’s not a subtle change over a four-year period. And there really isn’t anything going on in the present to re-direct the direction of that trend.
Schools and the NCAA are currently reacting — if you want to be generous with a description — to litigation threats, but longer term, what happens to the sport if the talent pool begins drying up because more and more parents refuse to let their kids play? Do you think anyone on the collegiate level has even begun seriously considering the possibility?