NC State

Advancements in player safety bring changes to NC State football, Doeren says

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WNCN/AP) - N.C. State head coach Dave Doeren said advancements in player safety have led to changes within the Wolfpack football program. 

Doeren's comments come a day after UNC head coach Larry Fedora stirred controversy by denying a proven link between football and CTE.

"I don't think that the game of football, that it's been proven that the game of football causes CTE. But that's been put out there. We don't really know yet," Fedora said Wednesday in Charlotte.

Doeren acknowledged that a lot of research had been done into head injuries in college and professional football. 

"It's all about player safety for us," Doeren said. "The advances in technology. The advances in 'return to play.'"

The Wolfpack coach said his team doesn't have back-to-back full-pad practices in an effort to keep players safe. 

N.C. State also wears soft shells on their practice helmets in an effort to reduce head injuries. 

"There's been incredible advancements in player safety," Doeren said. "All those things are geared toward life-long health."

In response to a tweet by CBS 17's Jeff Jones regarding Doeren's comments, N.C. State Athletic Director Debbie Yow said, "Can never be too diligent. Our staff and coaches understand our focus regarding athlete safety in all sports."

Known to cause violent moods, depression, dementia and other cognitive difficulties, CTE has been linked to the repeated hits to the head endured by football and hockey players, boxers and members of the military.

The NFL's billion-dollar concussion settlement included payouts for a qualifying diagnosis of CTE.

Fedora and Doeren are in Charlotte as part of the ACC's football media day.

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