A bill in the Texas House that hopes to reduce head injuries in middle and high school athletics received initial approval today. The bill by Rep. Eddie Lucio III (D-San Benito) would prohibit the use of all football helmets in use 16 years. It would also require any 10-year-old helmets to be reconditioned at least once every 10 years.
Lucio says the bill shouldn't add an additional expense to most schools - because most are already following a similar maintenance schedule. Although the Texas Education Agency says any school using the older helmets could end up paying a huge bill. The Legislative Budget Board estimates each new helmet would cost $150 to $300 and $25 to $50 for each reconditioned helmet. Lucio says his number-one concern is that varsity teams pass down older equipment to junior varsity and even middle school teams. In essence giving the worst equipment to the youngest and least skilled players.
The bill easy passed second reading on a voice vote and could come back to the House floor tomorrow for a final vote before heading to the Senate.