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Monday, November 08, 2010
Professor Tracks Injuries With Aim of Prevention
From The New York Times: The man with perhaps the most gruesome job in sports was unenviably busy. While other football fans spent the last weekend of October watching games, the 74-year-old retiree prepared still more formal inquiries into events that occupy him more than anyone would prefer — two high school football tragedies.
He gathered information from Web searches and e-mailed questionnaires to the National Federation of State High School Associations. The linebacker outside Kansas City, Kan., who collapsed from an apparent brain injury and died the next morning. The junior-varsity defensive back from Fresno, Calif., who was sent to a hospital and into a coma by a hit that caused massive brain swelling.
Fred Mueller has almost singlehandedly run the National Center for Catastrophic Injury Research at the University of North Carolina for 30 years, logging and analyzing more than 1,000 fatal, paralytic or otherwise ghastly injuries in sports from peewees to the pros. His work has repeatedly improved safety for young athletes by identifying patterns that lead to changes in rules, field dimensions and more.
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