HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL! – The Aspen Institute Hosts A Conference On Concussions and Youth Football Which IS The Most Important Issue Facing The Game of Football In America – The Big Ten Conference Expands To Add Maryland Rutgers And YES It Was ALL About $$$$$$ And Eyeballs And There Is NOTHING Wrong With That!
First of all we would like to wish a…
….to ALL Americans on this day of Thanksgiving and Giving Thanks for all the Blessings we have in our lives and how very Damn tough the Pilgrims were who risked everything just for the right to worship the God of their choice and helped to kick-off the thing called the American Republic.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL!
Concussions and Football
As this CHS blog entry is being written C-Span 2 is televising a great program on concussions and safety risks in youth football put on by the Aspen Institute which can be found and watched here….
….which is a very important issue that will in our opinion determine the future of the game of football in America.
Most of us here at Coaches Hot Seat started playing football in fourth or fifth grade which was full-on and hard-nose tackle football and if someone plays football from fourth grade through college that is 12 years of getting one’s head knocked around which in OUR opinion here at Coaches Hot Seat is just too many hits to the brain and body of young people.
In OUR opinion and for our boys we don’t believe kids should play tackle football before the seventh grade at the earliest and ideally in our minds beginning to play tackle football in the ninth grade is best with an emphasis on finding coaches that focus on the conditioning side of demanding a lot from his players while keeping the contact and tackling in football limited as much as possible and being very careful when kids do get hit and are at risk of having received a concussion during a game or practice.
We do believe that the game of football will be played in America in 2050 or 38 years from now BUT the game will no doubt in our minds will be much different and may be a lot closer to touch or flag-football than anyone could possibly imagine the game being played today and that may or may not be a good thing BUT one thing for sure the “Powers That Be” on all levels in football today need to do everything possible to limit the amount of concussions and injuries that young Americans are getting while playing the Great game of football while at the same time doing everything possible to keep the basic integrity and rules of the game of football intact.
One of the best books on concussions was written recently by one of the people participating in the above discussion on youth safety in football and that is Dr. Robert Cantu who wrote…
Dr. Cantu’s book is a great read that has guided our own decisions on when we allow our kids to begin playing tackle football and we have discussed many of the issues in his book with high school and lower level football coaches and how they might be able to limit the number of concussions and injuries that their players have to deal with that often can be avoided by just changing the way they do things in small ways especially in practices which of course if done the right way changes how young people play the game of football technique wise in the games.
Big Ten Expands by Adding Maryland and Rutgers
We have read dozens of news stories and columns over the past few days after the Big Ten Conference added Maryland from the ACC Conference and Rutgers from the Big East Conference with often the main point of those news stories and columns being that BOTH the Big Ten Conference and the two schools they added, Maryland and Rutgers, were only doing it for the…
…and to that we can only say….
What we understand completely here at Coaches Hot Seat is that it takes a Helluva lot of money to run a I-A (FBS) college athletic program and it takes a Whole Helluva Lot of money to run a large university or college in America today and college athletic programs like Maryland and Rutgers that are either not making much money (Maryland) or are heavily subsidized by fees from students and the university (Rutgers) need to do everything possible to put themselves into a place where they can make money and even contribute something back to their school if possible and in future years after Maryland and Rutgers get fully integrated into the Big Ten Conference they will be able to do just that and thus we think it was the no-brainer move of the year for Maryland and Rutgers to head to Big Ten country.
On the Big Ten Conference side of the ledger if one looks out into the future we have to agree with Oklahoma AD John Castiglione that the conference realignment is probably not over…
….and that the Big Ten adding Maryland and Rutgers is only a natural progression of the consolidation of “X” amount of superconferences that will eventually come to dominate Major College Football in America.
One thing the Big Ten Conference can do now with the addition of Maryland and Rutgers is fix their conference alignment for football and other sports from the current Big Ten alignment of…
…..to a geographic alignment that would look something like…
Also a move to playing NINE Big Ten Conference games would allow for all of the traditional rivalries to continue and for schools to develop new rivals over time both in their geographic divisions and in cross-division games just as has developed in the SEC Conference over the years and is now building upon with the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M which will probably not be the last of the teams that the SEC will add in future years.
Bottom-Line on the Big Ten adding Maryland and Rutgers: As President John F. Kennedy once identified in a speech in Frankfurt, Germany only a few months before his death one of the fundamental laws of life….
“But Goethe tells us in his greatest poem that Faust lost the liberty of his soul when he said to the passing moment: “Stay, thou art so fair.” And our liberty, too, is endangered if we pause for the passing moment, if we rest on our achievements, if we resist the pace of progress. For time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.”
….and ”change” is something that either human beings deal with and embrace or they will find themselves falling behind the times and any American that doesn’t believe that REALITY can only look back at how much America has changed over the past 50 years which has seen profound change in all facets in the life of our nation and people.
The Big Ten Conference, Maryland and Rutgers were of course acting in their own “self-interest” which is how we would expect the Big Ten, Maryland and Rutgers to act and since it is our opinion that Maryland and Rutgers helped out their athletic departments and thus schools a lot by moving to the Big Ten AND the Big Ten Conference gained a lot by expanding its footprint onto the Eastern seaboard of America in our books it makes the Big Ten’s expansion a WIN-WIN for everyone involved (save the ACC and Big East which lost out by not making their conferences attractive enough for those two schools to stay) and since we do believe that “change” is one of the fundamental laws of life and that what is most important is what is happening right in front of people and institutions both in the present and in the future the moves by the Big Ten, Maryland and Rutgers made about as much sense as something can make in this world of ours.