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Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Hokies' helmets help in concussion study

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

There's some pretty cool science going on at Virginia Tech, and it's caused the Hokies to trade in their helmets for a new model.

Researchers at Virginia Tech have produced the first specific model star ranking for the likely concussion resistance of helmets, similar to crash-test ratings for automobiles. The results? Frank Beamer and his staff found their model to be unacceptable:

LAST SEASON, THE VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES wore the Riddell VSR4 -- the very helmet Stefan Duma's research found unsafe. For the 2011 season, Virginia Tech will wear the top-rated Riddell Revo or Speed models, with each player choosing whichever better fits the quirks of his head shape. Considering the Hokies have four helmet color combinations and dress 72 for games, that's a truckload of new helmets. "My equipment manager has wanted to get rid of the VSR4 for years," says Mike Goforth, the Virginia Tech trainer. "He has long believed the new designs are safer. Finally, he has research to back him up."