Why are high school football players dying?
A USA Today Report
JAMESTOWN, N.Y. — Death certificates have empty spaces to be filled — even if death, like life, never fits easily into bureaucratic boxes. The death certificate of Damon Janes sketches a terrible story.
Usual Occupation: Student. Kind of Business or Industry: High School. Immediate Cause of Death: Blunt impact injury of head. Place of Injury: Football Field.
The nexus of high school football and death trespasses too often on the mythic ethos of Friday night lights. Janes was a workhorse junior running back for Westfield/Brocton, a combined team from two small schools in western New York. He died in a Buffalo hospital three days after taking multiple hits to his head in a game Sept. 13, 2013. He was 16.
Journal of Athletic Training
Working with NATA, we identified a study, “Concussion Knowledge in High School Football Players” in the current issue and have distributed a press release to national and trade media. Study author Brady Tripp, University of Florida at Gainesville, is sourced in the release. USA Today ran content on its high school site and HealthDay news service covered the story and distributed an article that generated over 140 stories on sites including usnews.com, medlineplus.com and philly.com among others. We also coordinated a live interview on the Dr. Radio/Sirius Satellite Radio program on Thursday morning, November 13.
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Read the Fall 2014 Newsletter!
PBS NewsHour, October 6, 2015
Total audience reach: 7,197,343
NATA was contacted by producer David Coles regarding a segment that evening on the recent trend of high school student athletes. The show was familiar with NATA and the Youth Sports Safety Summit/Alliance. He asked for an expert for an on-camera interview to discuss concussions, education and what parents, coaches and others need to know. We coordinated an interview with Steve Broglio and the segment generated a total of 59 broadcast including local PBS affiliates, one NPR national radio and one NPR San Francisco affiliate.
Transcript and video/podcast of segment, LINK HERE.
The segment generated terrific reach including: total national viewership: 2,168,838; total local viewership: 441,225; and a total broadcast ad value: $41,294.09. Additionally, coverage on the PBS website generated an additional audience of: 4,587,280.
Time magazine, September 29, 2014:
Total audience reach: 15,472,077
We worked directly with Sean Gregory this summer on what is the September 29 cover story on high school football and the death of an athlete. We had been pitching him ongoing news and he mentioned this particular focus, a request for stats and an interview with Jim Thornton, all of which we provided/set up. NATA is sourced with stats along with a very proactive quote from neurologist Allen Sills and other important safety messages specific to AT coverage and issue of school budgets. The online article is privacy (subscriber) protected and the hard copy issue is now on newsstands.
Additionally, Sean did some national media interviews about the article. Link HERE from MSNBC and Morning Joe where he mentions athletic trainers (and helps to extend our sports safety messages).
The Gatorade Secondary School Athletic Trainer Award
Link Here to learn more!
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