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Letter: Football offers valuable experiences for players

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I am writing to respond to the Nov. 16 letter to the editor about colleges and high schools banning football.

The article referenced the danger of concussions and the long term health effects as a result of those injuries to the brain. I think comparing brain damage to athletes who have played professionally and have played the game for 20 to 30 years is not a fair comparison to a student who plays four years in high school or even four years in college.

Today there is a great deal of emphasis on recognizing concussion symptoms and not allowing athletes (in any sport) to return to playing until they can meet satisfactory baseline results.

As a high school football coach for fifty years, and having played in high school and college, I love the game. It teaches discipline, teamwork, and sportsmanship. Players learn how to work within a team concept and how to deal with wins and loses. They learn to respect their teammates and opponents. It’s a game that requires instant decisions and is complex to learn within a system. In short, there are many life lessons to be learned in the game of football. To ban football would deprive students of an opportunity to have this experience.

If we ban football to protect our children from injury, should we ban four-wheelers, snowmobiles, motorcycles and many other activities that have an inherent risk of injury?

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