President Obama schedules youth safety, concussions summit

Friday's health and safety news from the world of football:

* The Associated Press reported that President Barack Obama has scheduled a conference on youth sports safety and concussions. Senior vice president of health and safety Jeff Miller is scheduled to represent the NFL.


The White House said Obama, as a parent and a sports fan, appreciates the role that sports play in young people's lives and is committed to helping ensure that children continue to play safely.


... Obama said he worries more about college players than professionals.


"NFL players have a union, they're grown men, they can make some of these decisions on their own, and most of them are well-compensated for the violence they do to their bodies," Obama said. "You read some of these stories about college players who undergo some of these same problems with concussions and so forth and then have nothing to fall back on. That's something that I'd like to see the NCAA think about."


* CBS Money Watch reported that most NFL players do not purchase disability insurance, which surprises an official with Lloyd's of London.


Many players are unwilling to pay for the coverage and are sometimes advised against buying it, said Chris Larcheveque, an executive vice president of International Specialty Insurance, one of four companies authorized by Lloyd's of London to underwrite these policies He estimates that only about 40 percent of NFL players have this coverage.


"A lot of guys who need it are rookies," Larcheveque said. "They don't want to spend $20,000, $30,000 or $40,000 on insurance. It's a big chunk of money on something that is a safety net."


... Kurt Peterson of Peterson International Underwriters says that while disability coverage is uncommon in football, most players in the National Hockey League purchase it. NHL contacts are guaranteed only when players are hurt during a game. Players buy separate coverage to protect them when they are off the ice, Larcheveque said.


Fewer baseball and basketball players bother to buy disability insurance because their contracts are guaranteed. They tend to purchase this coverage when their contracts are coming to an end in case an injury lowers their value in free agency. Top European soccer stars also purchase this type of insurance.


* The Buffalo News reported how Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, who is battling facial cancer, is back in the hospital after suffering from dehydration.

* The Times-Picayune's Jeff Duncan wrote that the NFL has undergone a cultural change since Bountygate.

The Times-Picayune also reported that quarterback Drew Brees and other New Orleans Saints players spoke out in favor of injury benefits legislation to the Louisiana Legislature.

* The Baton Rouge Times-Advocate reported that Chicago Bears safety Charles Tillman will give the commencement speech Saturday at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.

* KMBC-TV in Kansas City reported that the Chiefs fantasy is focusing on concussion awareness.

* WKYC-TV in Cleveland looked at a "smart mouthguard" being developed by the Cleveland Clinic.

* KSAT-TV in San Antonio looked at how its community's youth football helmets stack up after the latest Virginia Tech helmet ratings were released this week.

* The Associated Press reported that the California Assembly passed a bill that would limit full-contact practices for high school football teams to 90 minutes twice a week.

-- Bill Bradley, contributing editor