WEB EXCLUSIVE: Ban college football? The debate is on - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Ban college football? The debate is on

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Saturdays in the fall look, sound, and even smell of college football; not only for Lubbock and the state of Texas, but for most of the country. But what if those lights were suddenly turned off?

Former NFL stars such as Troy Aikman and Kurt Warner said they'd steer their kids away from playing the sport. That's what was debated Tuesday night in New York City by some of the brightest journalists, ex-players & best-selling authors in the country.

"Our nation is at a cornerstone," said author of Friday Night Lights, Buzz Bissinger. "We're questioning everything. Questions of course offerings, allocations of resources, in a very difficult era as governor's are slashing to the bone."

National columnist for FoxSports.com, Jason Whitlock shot back:

"[Banning] college football is being argued by well-intentioned people who don't clearly understand the sport."

What sparked such a heated debate only became more intense after the death of NFL legend Junior Seau, who allegedly committing suicide last week. Seau shot himself in the chest, just as former Chicago bears safety Dave Duerson did - intentionally so medical examiners could study the damage done to his brain after 15 years of playing football at Notre Dame and in the NFL.

Banning college football may seem crazy to some, but with concerns being raised from lawsuits in the NFL--, could college football fall victim to the same kinds of lawsuits?

"The vast majority of public schools can't be sued without the permission of the state," said Charles Dunn, a lawyer and former NFL Players Agent. "The odds of these kinds of suits being lodged against the colleges is very low."

Nevertheless, with new studies about head injuries still coming out, the data is still in-conclusive.

SO IS THE SPORT SAFE?

Jason Strunk is the head coach at Lubbock High, but spent time at high schools in Pennsylvania and Florida, as well as being on the coaching staff at Purdue University.

"It's hard for a college player on that level to fly under the radar with a concussion," said  Strunk. "As soon as they see [an athlete] grab their helmet or come off the field a little wobbly, they have you."

"I'd never label [football] dangerous, because if I call it dangerous - my son wouldn't be playing it."

To view the full debate online, log on to intelligencesquared.

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