Southern Methodist University Protects Student Athletes with Unequal Technologies
The Dallas Entertainment Journal’s Matt Thornton caught up with Unequal Technologies spokesman Greg Miller and Senior Vice President of Athletic Health & Advisory Paul Brenner at the 2014 SMU Football Kickoff Luncheon this week where the company announced a partnership with Southern Methodist University Football for player protection. The announcement is unprecedented as SMU is the first NCAA Division I football program to utilize Unequal protection team-wide.
The issue of player safety is dominating football conversations at every level from Pop Warner Youth Leagues to College football and up through to the NFL. Doctors and scientists are making new discoveries about the negative effects of repeated blows to the head, and it has some parents, players, coaches, and anyone who loves the sport of football uneasy. Just this past week, former Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin, USA Football Spokesperson Chris Golic, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, and Hall of Fame Coach/Broadcaster John Madden sat down with Reporter Melissa Stark to discuss player safety on NFL Network’s Total Access program.
Unequal has experience protecting high profile NFL players as the company was responsible for outfitting Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo with protection following a rib fracture during the 2011 NFL season. After learning about the Unequal technology utilized by Romo, SMU Equipment Manager Albert Veytia experimented with Unequal padding and has incorporated layers of the technology to reinforce SMU player’s shoulder pads or rib protectors throughout the years.
Unequal’s stated goal is to protect people while also helping to prevent blunt force trauma suffered by professional, collegiate, and youth athletes. As part of the Unequal partnership, SMU players will be outfitted with the Unequal Gyro in their football helmets as well as the Invincible top, Viper girdle and custom shoulder, hip, thigh, knee or rib padding. By using Unequal’s protective wear, SMU hopes to prevent injuries to their student athletes.
SMU’s head football coach June Jones said of his team’s announcement, “You can’t win if your players are in the training room, and as a coach or administrator, you’re not doing everything you can to keep your student-athletes healthy unless you’re using the most advanced protection available.” Jones continued, “Unequal is the best thing that has come along for contact sports. We look forward to not only using Unequal’s protective sports gear, but to working with the team at Unequal to continue to make their products better and to spread awareness to every college and league across the country.”
With Southern Methodist University’s announcement of their partnership with Unequal Technologies, many feel that the university is raising the standards for player safety and blazing new trails to protect their student athletes. Unequal Technologies hopes to expand their reach into other colleges, the National Football League, and sports beyond football in the future. With the help of the SMU football staff providing development feedback, Unequal Technologies could see near-term impressive growth and client-athlete adoption, but more importantly, they hope to facilitate a decrease in athletic injuries.
Follow Matt Thornton on Twitter: @MattsCowboys