The NFL created some buzz earlier this week when it turned out a
new rule would force some teams to stop wearing throwback uniformsif it required them to use a helmet different than their regular helmet.
But while the new rule only affects a few teams in the NFL for one or two games, it could have an even bigger impact on college football teams that routinely use more than one helmet during the season. Even though the NFL rule has no authority in college, you can be sure the NCAA is just as concerned about concussions and helmet safety.
Paul Lukas of ESPN.com explains the purpose of the rule and who recommended it:
“The NFL’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee and the Player Safety Advisory Panel, both of which are independent, unpaid panels that advise the league on safety issues. They felt that it’s safer for a player to stick with the same helmet for the entire season because new helmets take time to be broken in properly.”
The issue of multiple helmets is even greater in college, where many schools use multiple helmets on a regular basis. Some schools, such as Kansas (above) have as many as five helmets and Oregon seemingly uses a new helmet every week.
Many other schools, such as Notre Dame (below) use alternate helmets once or twice per season.
These wild varieties of helmets are used as a recruiting tool in an effort to appeal to high school football players. But when the NCAA sees the NFL rule, the fear of liability could make these helmets a thing of the past.
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