A tidal wave has been running through the NFL recently in the wake of several concussion studies and the effects they have on players. With this article, it's been shown that the brain damage issue is beyond just the NFL and has ramifications on the entire sport. College players are being affected equally from deteriorative brain complications and it causes for concern all the way down the sport's levels.
Several long-lasting conditions are going to come from these new discoveries and affirmations of brain issues caused from football-related injuries. Safety precautions in equipment are sure to develop with new helmets being introduced that better protect the head and specifically the brain of all players. More and more rules are sure to follow as well, targeting "high" hits and tackles directed towards the head. Most importantly, players will be required, and if not required, it should be strongly recommended, to get post-football medical observation. As is now being shown, the potential damage to the brain not only may result from careers in the brutal NFL, but all the way down the ranks, and subsequently affects more and more players.
So be careful with yourself. Protect your head and if you think you may have suffered a concussion or other head injury, don't be a tough guy and tough it out. You won't be a tough guy when your brain is deteriorating and you need constant medical help to live.
Here it goes, the first player to opt to play professionally in Europe instead of playing college is in the Show. Jennings is kick starting the migration from unpaid college ball in the States to the greener pastures of European ball. The NCAA needs to take serious steps in order to ensure that its players stay in the country or risk losing the top prospects. They could consider a draft option similar to baseball where the player has the option of going pro or going to college. If they choose to go to college, then they must stay until after their junior year or until they're 21, which ever comes first. This would give the player an option to go to college and if he does then the NCAA can keep those marquee players for three years.
Regardless of what the NCAA chooses to do, it still leaves the option of playing in Europe for the athletes coming up through the high school system. Jennings shows that it can be done and that players who do go abroad are not necessarily forgotten. It is possible to leave and come back. It may be a difficult transition, but so is the transition from high school to college and then college to the pros. Any transition between levels is going to be a challenge, so I don't think his time in Europe prepared him any less than playing in college. I think we will continue to see this exodus of the country's top amateur basketball leaving the country to get paid for a year before they can get paid in the NBA.