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January 28th, 2013
11:11 AM ET

President Obama shares injury fears for young football players – fmr. coach Jack Crowe weighs in

In an interview released online Sunday with "The New Republic," President Obama said if he had a son, he would "have to think long and hard before I let him play football."

The president, a longtime Chicago Bears fan, added that he would like to see the NCAA think about “some of these stories about college players who undergo some of these same problems with concussions and so forth and then have nothing to fall back on.”

This morning Jack Crowe, a retired football coach who spent nearly 40 years coaching college football speaks with Soledad O’Brien about the president’s recent comments.

“I understand the president’s concerns and he’s qualified it by saying as a parent [and] that’s where the grassroots of football the community,” Crowe says.

Crowe, who is also the former executive director of the American Sports Medicine Institute says, adds that those participating in youth football are probably most in need of education and research because “those guys who are coaching at that level don’t have a course in care and prevention to injuries. That’s the level I worry about the most.”

The longtime football coach reminisces on coaching his very first game and a player from the opposing team who the following week sustained a head injury that ultimately took his life. The week before the player died Crowe says his team “hit on [the player] a lot,” which was detrimental because the player “had a concussion in our game that wasn't recognized.”

Crowe says the issue is ultimately about how coaches are being trained and the medical support they have. He adds, “Games get covered by medical specialists but the majority of [injuries] happen at practice.”

For more information visit for more on how to stay safe while playing sports.

Filed under: Football • Head injuries • Uncategorized