NFL commissioner says player safety must improve

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the league will continue to do “everything we
can” to make football safer.

Player safety in the NFL has been a frequent topic of conversation recently and Goodell discussed it again Wednesday during a lecture and question-and-answer session at the department of exercise and sport science at the University of North Carolina.

“We know that in order to secure the future, we can and must do more to make the
game safer, and in the process,
we will make other sports safer as well,” he said.

Goodell called for “a culture of safety for every sport” and welcomes the national conversation about player safety and the growing issue of concussions.

The NFL is facing concussion-related lawsuits from thousands of former players.

In a series of interviews about head injuries with The Associated Press in December 2011, 31 of 44 players said they wanted the league to have independent neurologists at games.

Goodell said the league “will continue to make rule changes, invest in equipment and provide our medical staffs with the tools and authorities” to prevent injuries.

“Medical decisions override everything else,” he said. “We know that our actions set an example.”

49ERS: Six-time Pro Bowl kicker David Akers was released Wednesday.

Akers made only 29 of 44 attempts last season, his lowest percentage since 1999.

SYRACUSE: Two players are among four university students charged with campus burglaries.

Syracuse police say junior defensive end Markus Pierce-Brewster and junior defensive tackle Davon Walls were charged with felony burglary and misdemeanor petit larceny in connection with the burglary of an apartment Feb. 23.

Both players are accused of stealing a flat screen television, an XBOX gaming system, two iPods and XBOX games while students were asleep inside the apartments.

“We are very disappointed and do not in any way condone the alleged behavior that resulted in these charges,” rookie Syracuse coach Scott Shafer said in a statement. “This does not represent the core values of our program or the conduct expected of student-athletes representing Syracuse football. We will be following the judicial process and will act accordingly.”

The players did not enter pleas and were assigned attorneys. Calls to both lawyers were not immediately returned.

Two other students, Erwing Augustin, 20, and Bradley Valik, 20, also were charged with felony burglary and misdemeanor petit larceny in two burglaries.

Pierce-Brewster transferred into the program before last season from City College of San Francisco and appeared in 12 games, recording 30 tackles, one sack and one fumble recovery.

Walls, from Brooklyn, N.Y., appeared in three games last year after transferring from Coahoma Community College in Mississippi.


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