By Dennis Dodd/CBSSports.com
INDIANAPOLIS — College football coaches’ answer to the concussion crisis is a former University of Texas cheerleader who believes brains can heal themselves.
Hey, why not? Not much else has seemed to soothe the nation’s fears. The concussion crisis has resulted in a public relations crisis. The numbers of those playing youth football are dwindling. Lawsuits are hitting the NCAA, NFL — even the national high school association — from all sides.
The American Football Coaches Association on Monday morning presented Dr. Sandra Chapman as a rebuttal in an ongoing debate that continues to erode the profession’s credibility.
“If you haven’t sensed it,” AFCA executive director Grant Teaff told an audience of about 500 coaches, “our game’s under attack.”
Chapman, then, was part of the counterattack. The founder and chief director of the Center for Brain Health at the University of Texas-Dallas, is a cognitive neuroscientist. Her suggestion to Monday’s group was things aren’t as bad as the national narrative suggests.
“I want to change the conversation that you’re hearing,” she said during a session titled: The Future of Football: A Dose of Reality. “We’re showing a [positive] brain change [after injury], not in months and years but in literally hours.”