With legal challenges mounting to the football industry's regulation of player safety, a new figure who carries a big stick has weighed in on the issue: President Barack Obama.
In an interview with The New Republic, Obama called on the NCAA to address the growing concerns over head injuries:
"I tend to be more worried about college players than NFL players in the sense that the 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. 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."
These kinds of public remarks from the Oval Office often serve as a proverbial "shot across the bow" to stakeholders. Whether or not Obama would actually get involved with mandating changes to player-safety regulations is anybody's guess. Chances are, however, that the powers that be who run college football would prefer to drive their own reforms before the federal government decides to take charge.