Sunday’s health and safety news around sports:
* In light of the push to ban full-contact high school practices during the offseason, the New York Times wrote that 19 states already have taken such measures.
Texas allows 30 days of full-contact practice in the spring, while Illinois allows 20 days in the summer. Some states, like Minnesota and Virginia, do not set a limit.
Arizona, Massachusetts and Tennessee are among the 19 states that have banned off-season full-contact practices.
Matt Hasselbeck of the Tennessee Titans and several retired players are among those who have endorsed the institute’s efforts to raise awareness about head hits among younger players. The institute plans to lobby state athletic associations to reduce or eliminate full-contact practices in the offseason, but change may not be easy.
* Taking it one step further, a Texas legislator has introduced a bill that would limit full-contact practices to once per week during the football season, according to the Cypress Creek Mirror.
State Rep. Eddie Lucio III filed HB 887 on Jan. 31, which would limit high school and middle school football programs to one full contact practice per week. Rep. Lucio filed HB 68 previously establishing baseline testing that would be used when determining a student-athletes’ return to play after suffering a concussion.
“Texas has been and will continue to be a football state, but we must protect our young athletes,” said Lucio. “This legislation is aimed at preventing the harm caused by undiagnosed concussions. The cumulative effect of subconcussive hits can lead to severe brain damage because the lack of diagnosis.”
* CNN wrote about how Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome is the lone bright spot as the NFL struggles with diversity.
* ABC’s “Good Morning America” looked at the new technology being used in football.
* The Associated Press reported that San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver will undergo sensitivity training after making disparaging remarks toward gays during the Super Bowl Media Day.
* In NBA news, Charlotte Bobcats forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist sustained a concussion Saturday night, and San Antonio Spurs star Tim Duncan left another game with a sprained knee and a sprained ankle.
* The Miami Herald profiled concussion-prone NHL player Kirk Mueller, who is getting another chance with the Florida Panthers.
* USA Today Sports wrote about the death of Caleb Moore and other recent deaths in winter extreme sports.
* U-T San Diego wrote about how growth spurts can lead to sports injuries in kids.
– Bill Bradley, contributing editor