A state-of-the-art football helmet could be a game-changer, by making football more accessible and inclusive for all athletes.
Scott MacFarlane has more for this week’s Tech Tuesday report.
For coach Chuck Goldstein and his team, the hard-hitting, hard knocks world of college football can be even harder.
Goldstein’s players are deaf or hard-of-hearing. The student-athletes at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. — a university for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.
Team captain John Scarboro communicates through an interpreter. The team uses sign language to call in the plays and the audible.
“It’s one of the biggest sources of pride in my life. And I feel like we represent Gallaudet to America and to the world,” Scarboro said.
They made history long ago. It was Gallaudet’s football team in 1894 that, by necessity, invented the huddle.
But Gallaudet is plagued by penalties, from late hits and late snaps when players are unable to hear the refs and the calls.
Still, they are trying to make a new type of history. Gallaudet is testing a new 5G helmet made by AT&T, which relays a red flash when a play is over and alerts the quarterback to look to the coach for the signs.
It can also relay a play from the coach’s tablet to a visual prompt on the small screen inside.
“I can get [the quarterback’s] attention just by hitting one button. It flashes red. It’s like an exclamation point,” coach Goldstein said.
Permitted once to test in a game this year, the Gallaudet Bison hope college sports officials will approve its use for all their games down the road.