In the News

1 million + H.S. football helmets refurbished yearly, but process lacks official oversight

OXFORD, Ohio (TND) — When high school football players take the field, they may be playing in a helmet that's taken hits year after year. Ensuring those used helmets are game ready falls to a network of companies nationwide, tasked with reconditioning this crucial piece of headgear. Reconditioners refurbish more than a million helmets annually, with experts telling Spotlight on America most schools comply with voluntary standards that govern how often helmets should be sent in and when they should toss equipment from their inventory. But our ongoing investigation into helmet maintenance found there's no official system to handle accountability for those who don't follow the rules.


Spotlight on America took this issue to Congressman Don Bacon, R-Neb., Co-chairman of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force. His interest in traumatic brain injuries began following his time in the military, seeing the need to support service members who have dealt with TBIs. But he's taken new interest in the role helmets play in protecting young brains. We told him about the patchwork of voluntary standards we found in our nationwide investigation, raising questions about the potential need for more formal oversight.

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