When researchers at Virginia Tech released the result of testing on various brands and models of football helmets, Riddell immediately publicized the results. But other helmet makers are saying the research doesn’t add up.
First Xenith disputed the findings of the helmet study, and now the helmet maker Schutt is also calling the research into question.
According to a statement Schutt sent to PFT, concussion statistics from the 2009 and 2010 NFL seasons contradict the Virginia Tech conclusions: Of the 297 players who wore a Riddell helmet that got a five-star rating from Virginia Tech, 30 suffered concussions. But of the 303 players who wore a Schutt model that got a three-star rating, 27 suffered concussions. And of the 489 players who wore a Schutt model that got a two-star rating, 31 suffered concussions.
Of course, those numbers could be misleading, too: We don’t know if players at different positions wear different kinds of helmets, and we don’t know whether players suffered brain injuries but weren’t diagnosed with concussions.
But the bottom line is that even after this in-depth Virginia Tech study, we lack the information we need about helmet safety. More studies are needed.