Wednesday, May 23, 2007

College Wrestlers, Still Dirty. Concussions, Increasing.

The NCAA released their findings of a study that covered 16 years of data, and a couple of items were pretty interesting.

First the humorous, then we'll get to the more serious ones.

"In men's wrestling, skin infections proved to be a larger problem than previously thought, with about 20 percent of practice injuries related to skin infections. The report recommended better hygiene, for wrestlers and the mats."
Remember that the next time someone tells you they were a wrestler in college, and then shakes your hand or gives you a hug. Purell, stat!

The study also concluded that "more than half of all injuries were to the lower extremities", "injury rates were two to three times higher during preseason practices than during the regular season" and that the rate of concussions has increased dramatically.
"Rates of concussions increased from .17 per 1,000 athlete exposures in 1988-89 to .34 per 1,000 exposures in 2003-04. An exposure is every time an athlete participates in a game. Authors attributed the increase in part to improved reporting and identification of concussions."
Wow, the rate of concussions has increased twofold over the past 16 years. Yes, advances in medicine that have led to better detection has probably bumped the rate up a bit. However, with athletes becoming stronger and faster every year, and equipment staying relatively the same, something obviously needs to be done. The NCAA might want to follow the NFL's approach, and make this a priority in the near future.

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