youth football

The Uncertain Future Of Youth Football

Sep 26, 2018
Photo via Pixabay

For many people, the return of fall is marked with crashing shoulder pads and Friday night lights. Football season is back. But in Illinois, there is something else in the air this year.

Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

A contentious proposal that sought to ban youth tackle football in Illinois is dead, for now. 

State Rep. Carol Sente (D-Vernon Hills) is the sponsor of the bill. She said she won’t be calling it for a vote this session because it lacks support, but expect to see it again in the future.

Sente said she encountered several opponents who were adamant that this is a parental decision.

Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

"This bill honors my family's hope and my father's legacy to protect future athletes and the future of football," said Tregg Duerson, the son of the man for whom the bill is named.

Dave Duerson was a member of the 1985 Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears who killed himself in 2011 at the age of 50. In a note left to his family, he outlined his symptoms associated with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). Dave shot himself in the chest in order to preserve his brain, requesting that his family donate it to science. Studies concluded he suffered from CTE.