SEC

South Carolina, Texas A&M trying tech-driven mouthguards

In the latest effort to track concussion symptoms and the effects of violent blows to the head in connection to long-term brain health, South Carolina and Texas A&M will test tech-driven Vector MouthGuards at spring practice this month that send immediate data results to the sideline upon impact.

Utilizing i1 Biometrics Intelligence, which diagnoses a collision’s impact on the brain, the Gamecocks and Aggies along with the University of Kansas will know more about the overall health of their athletes.

“I think it’s great,” said Ray Tanner, South Carolina’s athletic director in an interview with The Post and Courier. “The whole concussion conversations we’ve been having the last few years have led to this. Concussions seem to me to be too prevalent in college football. We need to take all precautions that are possible in order to reduce those numbers.”

LSU was the first SEC program to field-test the mouthguards last season at a cost of $199 per player. Linear results are sent to data receivers on the sideline — in most cases the smartphones of team trainers — which are then used to analyze and tech players on proper technique and how to avoid possible dangerous situations when preparing to make a tackle.

Concussions and long-term effects from helmet to helmets hits are of heightened concern across all levels of football due in large part to recent horror stories of player suicides and varying other medical ailments that extend after playing careers are over.

Brad Crawford

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