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.


bubble graphic


bubble graphic


  • blu31

    The number one consideration in sport should be safety. And the #1 concern should be reducing head trauma. There are too many athletes (at all levels) playing football in poorly fitted helmets. Anyone should recognize that with the number of helmets rolling around on the field during practices and games. A helmet that fits well is not all that comfortable, so the athlete wears a helmet that is too large. And with that comes a possible concussion. Some things have already been done - 1) professional fitting of helmets and 2) having to leave the game if your helmet comes off for one play. Finally, I can't agree with paying college athletes. Their food is 1st class at the training table and more money in the pockets of these athletes might mean more drugs and alcohol in the body. Would it be too much to expect the athletes to get a part time job or some help from the parents. When these athletes become pros - pay 'em.

  • Mr. Clean

    Welcome to Charleston Stink and Merrill Hoge. I hope they get his last name spelled right on his name tag. Schlereth, we named the water in Charleston after you for this event, Stinky water!

  • Mountain Man

    You can't change the aggressive nature of a sport. Football is a tough game. Rules and personal equipment can only protect the player so much. It blows my mind the NFL professional players aspire to that level while knowing all the hazards of the game and then want to whine about getting hurt and needing additional compensation. A lot of parents live thru their kids. Thus the need to shine as a sports star no matter the cost. Other kids aspire to sports stardom for money and riches. Again, with no regard for injuries while getting there. Wake up people, injuries are not low risk in these type sports. So expect it too happen sooner or later. And when it does (hopefully not), suck it up and quit blaming everyone else and seeking additional compensation from wherever you can. Kids wants fame, wealth, etc nowadays. Nobody wants to be an academic success and aspire to gain fame and fortune from that path.

  • 1Prouddog

    Wow! Excellent choice of guests. Good exposure for our state...
    Great idea....
    While everyone is taking their seats show film of the last FOUR AAA STATE CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES that MARTINSBURG has won!!! I'm sure there's plenty of film in