DALLAS -- Texas sure does love its football; it’s a sport the Lone Star state takes pretty seriously!
So seriously, in fact, that the state is launching what many say is the nation's largest effort to track brain injuries in young athletes.
The University Interscholastic League, Texas, along with the O’Donnell Brain Institute at UT Southwestern, will research whether rules and equipment changes are actually improving player safety.
"You have to look at football and hockey and girls sports. Girls soccer and cheerleading are some of places where we see a lot of concussions,” says concussions expert Chad Stephens.
The study, which launches this week, will track about two dozen different high school sports, keeping a record of things like what caused an injury, recovery time, and what can be done to prevent hard hits to the head.
This study could also be a crucial step in developing a national database of brain injuries in youth sports.
Stephens says, "If there’s a way for us to find a way to get more athletes interested in playing and more parents less concerned about letting their athletes play and having data to support our suggestions, our decisions, I think that would be a positive for the sport."
And who knows, the NFL may soon follow.