and friday night is football night for millions of high school athletes across america. Yesterday, as we know, the nfl agreed to pay almost $1 billion to settle lawsuits by former players who suffered... See More
and friday night is football night for millions of high school athletes across america. Yesterday, as we know, the nfl agreed to pay almost $1 billion to settle lawsuits by former players who suffered brain injuries. But what about the children heading on to the field right now? Some of football's biggest stars say they will no longer let their children play the game. Abc's ryan owens. Reporter: Friday night in texas. Thousands of high school players will take to the field tonight. This early in the school year, many have already learned one lesson. What a concussion feels like. I blacked out, was dizzy, kind of saw stars. I went to the locker room and everything was a blur. Like nauseous, really dizzy. Reporter: So what's being done to keep these players safe? Nearly 3,000 youth leagues in all 50 states have adopted new standards for tackling, teaching kids to keep their heads up -- the best to avoid a concussion. We're helping change the culture of the game. Reporter: The nfl-funded program is called "heads up football," and critics say it's little more than a pr campaign. At the college level, teams like virginia tech placed sensors into the foam of players' helmets to record the power of hits in g's. Anything over a certain level and the team doctor gets a page. Despite those efforts, the numbers are alarming. A recent study of high school sports injuries found that more than 140,000 young athletes suffer concussions every year. The majority from high school football. Some of the game's legends have made clear what they think. If I had a son to today, i would say this top everyone, i would not let them play football. Reporter: Still the friday night lights burn bright. As americans struggle to make a rough game they know will never be safe, at least a little safer.
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