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?A long term on NCAA probation did not put much of a crimp in Auburn's football finances. A new $600,000 dormitory for athletes has just been completed.
Advice to football fans from a noted Georgia physician who specializes in athletic injuries and has done extensive research on team conditioning:
When fresh troops are called in to halt the advance of an offensive team, expect no miracle on the first play. "You will find, under normal circumstances," says Dr. Jack C. Hughston. "that a fresh group of reinforcements isn't quite alert to combat. It will take a play for them to get their adrenalin up to cope with their opponents."
CALL FOR A CLINIC
Death is a concomitant of almost all sports, some more than others, but it occurs with special poignancy when, by foresight, it could have been detained. Now, after the death of Mike Kelsey, 20-year-old Southern Methodist, football player, presumably due to heat exhaustion, and the prostration of nine players at other Texas colleges, coaches of the Southwest Conference have taken precautions that might be followed usefully in some form or other throughout the country, on high school fields as well as in college sport, in tennis as well as in football.
The day after Kelsey's funeral the SMU squad returned to practice. Some changes were made. Coach Hayden Fry cut down on drill time, ordered two rest periods per practice and tripled the amount of salt solution rationed to each player. At each of the two rest periods players now drink a cup of an iced, lime-flavored drink containing sodium chloride, calcium and other salts found in the human body.
At the University of Texas, Coach Darrell Royal gives squad members a water-and-salt break every 30 minutes instead of just one halfway through each two-hour session. Football players at Rice and Texas Tech now go swimming for a brief period after each practice.
What bothers us is that the techniques are so different, suggesting that there is a need for unanimity about how to protect athletes—the strongest men to be found in our population—against heat debilitation. Not negligence, but simple failure to understand the body's needs under conditions of heat and high humidity seems to have been responsible for the rash of prostrations. On the day of Kelsey's death the temperature was a mere 77�, but the humidity was 80%. Under such conditions the cooling effect of evaporation resulting from perspiration is negligible—but no one looking at a thermometer would have cause for concern.
With such an example before the sports world, negligence now must be suspected if more deaths occur. It would seem to be the obligation of every athletics director, coach and faculty administrator to get the best possible medical advice on the subject. We suggest that a clinic of coaches and medical specialists be convened now to seek an answer.