Georgia Southern University’s move to use the Guardian Cap during practice is a sound investment of the increased revenue that the FBS move will generate for the school. The Guardian Cap’s increased protection against concussions addresses a hot-button issue at all levels of football and shows that the athletics program is willing to go the extra mile (and spend the extra buck) to protect its student-athletes. The extra visibility that the switch garnered for the school from major news outlets is a boon for the university as well.
It is good to see that the university does not view its student-athletes, especially the profit-generating football players, solely as revenue-generating machines. The extra money spent on player safety will not only reduce injuries while in school, but can possibly cut down on the long-term health effects of head injuries. As well, improved safety measures can be a great recruiting pitch for concerned parents of potential players.
The visibility gained by news coverage of GSU’s use of the Guardian Cap is a great side effect of doing the right thing. The school has already been rewarded for the extra money spent on protection by coverage of the new gear by NBC. Any time a school can get coverage on a major network in a positive light, it is a huge benefit for all parties involved.
The move to use Guardian Caps has already benefited the school, but the most important benefits will happen down the road from the players using the helmet to reduce brain injuries. GSU deserves credit for putting player safety above a profit margin.