CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The current discussion and concerns raised overhead trauma among football players has caused concern about where the game and the NFL are headed.
“A generation of parents is concerned about letting their children play,” said former NFL player Mark Schlereth. “I think that’s the biggest concern for the NFL is the next generation of player. Is that pool going to be lessened by the effects of head trauma? I think that’s the scary thing.”
Schlereth, who played for 12 years with the Redskins and Broncos will speak about the future of football in an upcoming address at the University of Charleston. Schlereth and former Steelers player Merrill Hodge will be part of the discussion Tuesday night.
Schlereth said nobody ever thought about the impact of head trauma when he played in the late 80s and early 90s. However, he said knowing the risks now don’t sway his opinion of the game.
“Full well knowing the repercussions of head trauma now, I’d still to this day if I was a young man play the game,” Schlereth said recently on MetroNews Talkline. “I love the game.”
University of Charleston President Ed Welch will moderate the conversation. Welch expects to cover an array of topics about football and not exclusively concussions. He plans to cover rule changes, college football budgets, coaching salaries, ticket prices, and the effects of television on fan attendance.
Schlereth, who’s now an analyst with ESPN, said the NFL is finally getting close to where it needs to be with regard to head trauma.
“It’s been taken out of the hands of the franchise,” he said. “It’s been given some authority to the doctors.”
The speakers series is set for Tuesday at Riggleman Hall Geary Auditorium at 6:30 p.m. U.C. will host a free autograph session with Hoge and Schlereth ahead of the speaker series from 4:30 – 6 p.m. in the Riggleman Hall Rotunda.