|By Gordon Morton '93|
When, in an attempt to combat concussions, the Ivy League announced a rule change this summer reducing the number of full-contact practices teams can hold, it was catching up to what was already in place at Brown. In fact, head football coach Phil Estes was part of the committee making the recommendation.
"This will make our game safer," Estes says, "and the Ivy League is leading the nation in how to do it."
During the football season, teams will be able to hold only two full-contact practices each week, instead of the five permitted under NCAA guidelines. In the preseason, teams are permitted only one full-contact session during two-a-day practices. In the spring, the number of full-contact practices allowed will go from eight to seven; the NCAA allows twelve.
"This will have little effect on the way we practice because we already do things this way," said Estes. "The difference is that the rest of the league will have to cut down on contact during the week."
He also pointed out that for the past few years Brown has been a leader in researching concussions. Researchers on campus have been using sensors in players' helmets to measure impacts. Virginia Tech and Dartmouth have also taken part in this study, which was the basis for the new Ivy policy.