To the editor:
As one of the scientists supporting the “no head hit rule” in NCAA football, I have written this letter to commemorate the life of Mr. David Parry, former Head of Officials, NCAA. David Parry was responsible for the “no spearing rule.” His name is seldom mentioned. David passed way in 2011.
Many years ago, January 2008, my lab contacted Mr. Parry about lingering injury risks after observing spearing incidents on TV. After some further discussion, a new rule was installed by Parry and his associates.
We estimate now that approximately 30,000 municipalities which have high school football and 150 colleges and universities are abiding by the new rule. The identical NFL matter of current interest received attention years after the NCAA actions.
My discussions with Parry were held confidential for about five years, then I posted David’s letter at a local sports club. Separately, the original pathologist who identified traumatic head injuries as connected with the death of an NFL player was Dr. David Omalu, M.D. His interaction with NFL management led to various legal settlements and went on for years but nothing was done about NCAA and high school risks during this time. A movie has now been made on this matter termed “Concussion.”
Following the posting of Parry’s letter, our president held a conference on this at the White House (a multi-million dollar R and D effort was suddenly devised five years after NCAA action!) As a matter of opinion, I hold that “politicians involvement” would not have occurred had not Mr. Parry’s letter reached local political activists here in South Carolina.
However, we can take immediate action as citizens and parents to help avert nerve injury, Alzheimers and brain damage connected with both sports, aging and hazardous employment. The “shopping mall” available shipments, N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) and lipoic acid, have shown excellent activity against aging process and copper induced nerve damage. It is recommended that schools consider having their athletes take these well before (and also the day after) a physical sports contest. We recommend parents consult their physician and consider their own family program.
William von Meyer, Ph.D.
Pendleton, South Carolina
and 1955 Sidney High School graduate