Local Event Sports Association

When the NFL’s Injury and Safety Panel released a report last month citing an 88 percent higher frequency of ACL injuries for players on modern synthetic surfaces—like FieldTurf—even casual football fans took the news with little surprise.

In the short time that teams have been playing and practicing on surfaces like FieldTurf, the stigma of such grounds yielding a greater number of injuries to the lower extremities has already built in the popular conscious.

Given the high rate of ACL injury as a whole in college football—the Cleveland Clinic puts the probability at 16 percent during a four-year career—should universities be more cautious with plans to replace grass surfaces with artificial ones?

Schools that had long played on original AstroTurf surfaces leapt at the chance to replace such padded artificial playing fields with softer—yet still budget friendly—crumb rubber infill ones, citing an increase in player safety while still maintaining the cost-saving advantages over a grass field.

As dollars in athletic budgets have turned more ...

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