NFL, NCAA must be aggressive in stopping rash of head injuries

Mike Buda

Big hits are what some fans watch football games for, but it’s getting to be a little too much.

This past weekend displayed a variety of illegal and dirty hits on vulnerable players, leaving them on the ground in hopes of moving their fingers and toes.

The NFL and NCAA need to improve their institutions’ rules and regulations on this subject matter before focusing on others, like extending the season to 18 games or retooling the BCS.

And if this past weekend’s helmet-to-helmet hits and tackles don’t get NFL and NCAA officials to open their eyes, probably nothing will.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is contemplating if players should get suspended or not for those kind of hits, but hasn’t made up his mind yet because what could possibly be at stake.

The livelihood of every NFL player is at risk when they step onto that field with a concussion or possibly a life altering tackle lurking around every corner as seen even more this season.

Through six weeks, players such as Jay Cutler, Hunter Hillenmeyer, Josh Cribbs, Aaron Rodgers, Randall Gay, Jacob Bell, Chris Cooley and six Philadelphia Eagles have suffered concussions.

Maybe Goodell should rethink extending the season by two more games so his players aren’t given more opportunities for something terrible to happen.

But something needs to be done in football before someone gets seriously injured.

And that’s already too late.

Rutgers’ junior defensive tackle Eric LeGrand was paralyzed Saturday while trying to make a tackle on a kickoff return.

Albeit, the tackle wasn’t a helmet-to-helmet hit, but players are told to lower their heads when making tackles, and LeGrand paid the price.

If there’s going to be suspensions for players who engage in these illegal and dangerous hits, they must be handed out as soon as possible to send a message and to change the way players think going into a tackle.

With the NCAA, it’s up to the programs and coaches to decide whether to suspend a player. With the NFL, Goodell needs to step up like he’s done so well in the past for off-field incidents.

Football is and always will be one of the most dangerous sports, but it’s up to its higher-ups to make the game better and safer for the future.