Innovative concussion technology to be tested at All-American Bowl

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When dozens of the nation’s best high school football players take the field Saturday afternoon for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl — on NBC, incidentally — some of them will do so with an additional piece of equipment that has the chance to revolutionize how in-game head injuries are diagnosed on the sidelines.

And, hopefully, save a little gray matter along the way.

Battle Sports Science has developed a device they call a concussion indicator.  The device has been inserted into the chinstrap of several players participating in the all-star game, and is intended to measure the g-force of a collision, using a series of LEDs to alert sideline personnel to potential head injuries.

Inside the chinstrap is software that measures the force and duration of a hit. Outside the strap is a light indicator. Green means you’re fine. A yellow blinking light means there’s a 51-percent chance you have a concussion. A blue light means there’s a 70-percent chance, and red means 90-percent chance. “At any point when that light changes they need to pull the kid off the field and do a quick evaluation and if everything’s fine, great,” said Chris Circo, CEO of Battle Sports Science, the company that developed the concussion indicator. “We’re not detecting anything other than, you’ve been hit at a certain G-force for a certain duration. Somebody needs to take a look at you,” said Circo.

While the current devices are merely prototypes and thus bulkier than what the final product will be, at least one of the players who has been using it during practice in the run-up to the game had no issue with the additional equipment.  Said Los Angeles high school RB/DB De’Anthony Thomas, “At first I thought it was going to be uncomfortable because it’s bulky a little bit, but it’s, it’s great.”

Certainly there are some out there who are leery of rules changes aimed at protecting players leading to the “wussification” of the sport.  However, it’s a no-brainer (no pun intended) to take a look at any and all technological advancements in the equipment arena to make the sport as safe as possible without drastically altering the fiber of what makes the game so great.

As the parent of a 13-year-old participating in youth football, it’s good to hear the technological side of the concussion issue is being addressed in such a meaningful manner.  Hopefully, that tack will continue in earnest. By all parties involved.

Former Ohio State assistant leaving Minnesota for Michigan

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An assistant with history on one side of The Game rivalry is headed to the other side. reportedly.

FootballScoop.com first reported that Minnesota’s Ed Warinner (pictured, center) is leaving Minnesota to take an unspecified job at Michigan. SI.com‘s Bruce Feldman subsequently confirmed the initial report.

While the Wolverines have not yet confirmed the addition of Warinner, the coach’s updated Twitter profile indicates that he’s now at U-M. As Jim Harbaugh already has his allotment of 10 on-field assistants, it appears likely that Warinner will serve as some type of offensive analyst.

Warinner spent the 2017 season as the offensive line coach and running-game coordinator at Minnesota. Prior to that, He was the line coach at Ohio State from 2012-16. In 2015, he added the title of co-offensive coordinator.

Oregon officially confirms swiping of assistant from Wazzu

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Washington State’s coaching loss will prove to be a fellow Pac-12 member’s gain.

Following up on reports that had surfaced throughout the latter part of this past week, new head coach Mario Cristobal announced that he has hired Jim Mastro as his new running backs coach. Mastro will also serve as the Ducks’ run-game coordinator.

Mastro had spent the past six seasons as the running backs coach at Washington State.

“We are thrilled to add Jim to the staff,” Cristobal said in a statement. “He has extraordinary leadership skills which will be of great benefit in developing our talented group of running backs. Jim possesses a wealth of experience both coaching and recruiting on the West Coast, and he has consistently been a tremendous innovator on the offensive side of the ball.”

Prior to Wazzu, Mastro spent one season (2012) as the tight ends coach at UCLA. For the 11 seasons prior to that first taste of the Pac-12, Mastro was the running backs coach at Nevada.

Mastro has also spent time on FBS coaching staffs at Idaho (1998-99) and San Jose State (1995).

QB Keller Chryst announces transfer from Stanford

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Stanford’s quarterback room will have a decidedly different look this coming season.

Keller Chryst announced on his personal Twitter account Sunday afternoon that he has decided to transfer from the Cardinal for his final season of collegiate eligibility.  Chryst will graduate from the university in June, making him eligible to play in 2018 at another FBS program if that’s the path he chooses.

Chryst gave no specific reason for the decision, although the fact that he lost his starting this past season likely played a significant role.

Chryst began the 2016 season as the backup to Ryan Burns, who started the first seven games after winning the job coming out of camp before losing it to Chryst midseason; he replaced Burns midway through that season as the starter.  While he suffered a torn ACL in Stanford’s Sun Bowl win over North Carolina following the 2016 regular season, he began the 2017 season as the starter; an injury in the Week 4 win over UCLA opened the door for redshirt freshman K.J. Costello to start the following week against Arizona State.  Chryst returned in Week 6 and started the next three games.

Ahead of the Washington State game in early November, however, a healthy Chryst was benched in favor of Costello.  In what turned out to be the final three starts of Chryst’s career with the Cardinal, he completed just under 57 percent of his passes for 453 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions.

In parts of three seasons, Chryst, whose uncle Paul Chryst is the head coach at Wisconsin, passed for 1,926 yards, 19 touchdowns and six interceptions in 289 attempts.

Rich Rodriguez releases statement as additional claim against his alleged behavior is filed

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Rich Rodriguez was fired earlier this month after his former administrative assistant filed an $8.5 million claim against him, saying she was forced to lie to his wife and children to cover up his extramarital affair and that he subjugated her to numerous instances of inappropriate behavior, including brushing up against her breast and making comments about his underwear and genitalia.

He admitted to the affair, but said the other claims were unequivocally false.

On Saturday, the same woman, Melissa Wilhelmsen, filed an additional $7.5 million claim against the University of Arizona, saying the school is liable for its former employee’s behavior.

From the suit, according to the Arizona Daily Star:

The document says that Wilhelmsen and her husband also have claims against Rodriguez for slander, defamation and false light, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress stemming from Rodriguez and his wife’s conduct after his firing — including “statements to football players at a team meeting on January 9, 2018.” Rich and Rita Rodriguez spoke to the players in a team meeting run by interim head coach Marcel Yates on that date. It was not immediately clear if any additional legal action had been filed.

Rodriguez on Sunday released a statement, essentially calling Wilhelmsen’s bluff.

Considering the plaintiff is now seeking a sum of $15 million here, the odds of an out-of-court settlement seem so overwhelming that they may as well be taken off the proverbial board.