'Sport takes us to the core of who we really are:' NCAA chief medical officer visits ESU Monday Featured

Dr. Brian Hainline stands with stingers up at Emporia State University Monday.  Dr. Brian Hainline stands with stingers up at Emporia State University Monday. Tagan Trahoon/KVOE News

True competition can be beneficial for both athletes and society alike.

This is the opinion of NCAA chief medical officer Dr. Brian Hainline who was the featured speaker at Emporia State University Monday evening. Dr. Hainline oversees the NCAA Sport Science Institute and serves as the clinical professor of neurology at both New York University and Indiana University schools of medicine.

Dr. Hainline's presentation Monday evening, "Can Sport Save Society?" focused on many benefits that come from sports including personal health, brain function and how sports can better society as a whole. According to Dr. Hainline sports are the one avenue where everyone -- regardless of sex, race or financial means -- are placed on even footing.

Hainline shared a quote from one of his personal heroes Nelson Mandela who stated, "you can measure a society by how it treats sport."

Dr. Hainline did acknowledge while competition does provide many benefits in society, it can also lead to divisiveness amongst players and members of society alike. However, Hainline says this divisiveness is often caused by outside factors such as overly competitive individuals.

Emporia State University Assistant Athletics Director Don Weast agrees with this sentiment. He believes competition is not something born out of animosity or resentment, but rather a desire to better one's self by competing against another.

Dr. Hainline's presentation also touched on injury in sports. He says there are many misconceptions surrounding sports-related injuries especially concussions.

Hainline says the NCAA is working on several new initiatives to help shed more light on this topic including working with the Department of Defense to conduct one of the largest concussion studies in history. Additionally, Hainline is currently working with USA Football to help "reimagine youth football as we know it."

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