ATHENS, Ga. — The NFL announced Thursday that several schools, including the University of Georgia, would be joining a research initiative to collect data on football players' head impacts through mouthguard sensors.
Participation in the program allows football players at the schools to opt-in to the research, the NFL said in a release.
The NFL said the research is used to "inform injury reduction efforts at the professional and collegiate level, including through rules changes and the development of higher-performing equipment like position-specific helmets."
UGA is one of four new schools in the program, with four participating. The other new schools are the University of Florida, the University of Pittsburgh and Vanderbilt University. The previously participating schools included the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Washington, the University of Alabama and the University of Wisconsin.
"It is a privilege to partner with the NFL on the biosensor mouthguard study," Ron Courson, Executive Associate Athletic Director, Sports Medicine at UGA, said in a statement. "This novel study will provide new and important information on concussions in sport as we continue to work together to make the game of football safer for players in all settings. Our research affiliation with the NFL, along with our longstanding partnership with the University of Georgia Department of Kinesiology and sports concussion laboratory, housed in the Mary Frances Early College of Education, supports our goals to provide the highest medical care possible to our student-athletes and to make a positive impact on healthcare, sports, performance, and life."
The NFL said the mouthguards are designed by Align Technology and "provide a substantial amount of information about what the head experiences during an impact."
"Each participating NCAA program will receive a statistical analysis of player impacts specific to their team, which will help the program refine its own efforts to advance player health and safety," the NFL said in a release.