If Braeuer can return, headband may come into play
Posted on Sun, Jan. 13, 2008
If Matt Braeuer's basketball career continues, an assist goes to a radio caller who suggested Wichita State look into protective headgear.
Intrigued by the call to coach Gregg Marshall's weekly radio show, Marshall, Braeuer and trainer Todd Fagan investigated. They found a padded headband marketed to soccer players that might help. He missed his fourth game Saturday with a concussion, the fourth one of his Shocker career.
It is such a common-sense idea, Marshall wonders why nobody thought of it earlier.
Protective headgear is not often associated with basketball. Braeuer may be the test case, if he resumes his playing career.
"It pads the impact areas that are the most often hit," Fagan said. "The forehead, the temporal bones, basically the side of the head, as well as the back of the head."
Soccer players often take head-to-head or knee-to-head blows. There is also concern about the cumulative effects of headers.
How effective can the headband be in basketball? Fagan is not sure, other than citing the company's data from soccer studies. It is a relatively new approach, so there is not a lot of information available.
Braeuer likes the idea of wearing it, although his future on the court remains undecided. The headaches and other symptoms of a concussion persisted through last week. He suffered the concussion late in a game against Drake on Dec. 29.
"Obviously, I have to be healthy before I ever try it," he said. "If the time comes, and hopefully when the time comes, I'll wear it. I'm a basketball player at heart. I'd like to be out there with my teammates."
Fagan contacted Jim Bain, the Missouri Valley Conference coordinator of officials, to get the headband cleared. The NCAA approved it after checking it out on the Internet. If Braeuer plays with it, Bain will contact referees to let them know the headband is legal.