NFL concussion panel against official helmet

By Howard Fendrich

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 8 2010 3:11 p.m. MST

FILE - This Oct. 17, 2010, file photo shows Baltimore Ravens tight end Todd Heap, left, taking a hit from New England Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather, right, during an NFL football game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. The NFL's brain, neck and spine committee meets Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010, to talk about possible changes to helmets and other equipment.

Winslow Townson, File, Associated Press

NEW YORK — Members of the NFL's head, neck and spine committee say the league shouldn't have an official helmet anymore.

The committee is meeting Wednesday with representatives of helmet makers, engineers, the military and NASCAR to gather information about improving safety.

While players can wear any helmet that passes a safety standard, the NFL and Riddell have had a licensing/sponsorship arrangement since 1990. Only that brand can appear on a helmet during a game. The NFL estimates that 75 percent of helmets used this season are made by Riddell, 23 percent are made by Schutt, 1 to 2 percent by Xenith, and a handful by Adams USA.

Dr. Robert Cantu, senior adviser to the league committee, said the NFL-Riddell relationship should be severed as soon as it can be contractually.

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