Myron Rolle has quite the resume. At one point, he was an NFL player. Now, he’s studying to be a neurosurgeon. So clearly he would have unique insight into the growing concern of head trauma in football. Rolle joined The Jim Rome Show on Tuesday and shared his thoughts on whether or not the NFL is doing a good job of handling concussions and keeping players safe.
“I think they’re doing ok. I think they could be doing more,” Rolle said. “I think they should have been more transparent with traumatic brain injury and possibly the link to chronic traumatic encephalopathy. A lot of people want to say there’s a direct link, but there’s more research that needs to go into that.”
The Rhodes Scholar says with the power the NFL has, they should be at the forefront in how they handle and prevent head trauma.
“I think the NFL needs to be the leader in this topic, because everything stems from the NFL. From college, to high school, to Pop Warner, everyone takes their direction from the leader of this beautiful sport that we all love,” Rolle said. “I think the NFL needs to be more accepting of new innovative technology that puts monitors in players helmets and kind of tracks the force and the impact that these hits have.
“They need to kind of dissuade this culture of macho big-time high velocity collision impact hits, and publicize and promote more of the fundamental aspects of the sport, good blocking, good tackling, good kicking, good passing, these things. I think the NFL needs to press more on having independent neurosurgeons, neurologists, neuro phycologists on the sideline who have no feelty to any team, no allegiance and they just want to do what’s best for the patient.”
Rolle also believes the players are playing too much during games.
“The NFL should consider reducing the number of snaps in a game,” Rolle said. “I don’t think the game’s going to decrease if you cut down the snaps to 40 or 50 plays. To me, that’s 40 or 50 less times that a player has a chance of getting a concussion, that’s just simple. I think fans will still want to watch. I think they will still see the great highlight catches and the great plays, but it’s going to preserve players, it’s going to preserve the game, it’s going to preserve a national treasure of football that we all very very much love and see stick around.”
When asked how the NFL could feasibly cut the number of snaps down in a game, the former Florida State Seminoles player said, “I think maybe clock.”
“I think you need to talk to the refs perhaps, maybe shorting if there’s a down play or there’s a play out of bounds ,maybe at some point of the game keep that clock running,” Rolle said. “There’s ways, I think the referee needs to handle the clock mostly. It can’t really be determined by the players. It’s got to be a ref saying, hey we’re going to speed this thing up even more. And look, I think if you do cut down the number of plays, there’s an economic disadvantage to that as well, because you don’t have as long as a broadcast which means less advertising commercials that go on. So there will probably be a resistance for this suggestion, but from a safety perspective, I just think it’s necessary. I really really do. The NFL needs to.
“And I saw in college this year, where Clemson played Alabama, I think Clemson ran 99 to 100 plays or over ninety plays in the National Championship game. Like over hundred plays, that’s unbelievable! That’s a lot! I mean, they speed up and run so many plays, you cut that down, you do a good service for the players, and I think we need to really consider that.”