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football

Updated at 5 p.m. ET Sunday

Editor's note: This story contains language that some might find offensive.

Fox

Cowboys fans have come to know Joe Buck well. As the lead announcer for Fox’s football broadcasts, he’s called the action for much of this so-far magical season. He’s in town for the Thanksgiving Day game, and he sat down with KERA’s Stephen Becker:

College Football’s Rape Problem

Sep 14, 2016
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A University of North Carolina Chapel Hill student held a press conference this week to say she was raped by a football player. The UNC sophomore says she reported the rape in February, but the accused student wasn’t suspended from the team until yesterday.

Gus Contreras / KERA News

As you enter The Star, you know right away that you're walking into Dallas Cowboys' territory.

Courtesy of Caylin Moore

Caylin Moore says he shouldn't be in Fort Worth. Considering where he grew up, his future seemed to be predetermined.

“Prison, dead, on the street selling drugs,” he says.

Texas Christian University

Last week, the NFL admitted for the first time that football is linked to brain damage. It’s something researchers have documented for years. Now, a new study conducted at Texas Christian University shows a component of fish oil could help reduce the brain-damaging effects of head trauma.

Why We Shouldn't Give Up On Football

Dec 7, 2015
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Today on “Think,” journalist Gregg Easterbrook told Krys Boyd that football is a celebration of America’s power.

“It’s expensive, it’s loud, it’s overdone. It’s not a coincidence that our national sport is an athletic expression of trying to figure out what our national power is,” he said.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

So far this year, 14 high school football players have died across the country -- seven after an injury on the field, another seven from indirect causes such as heat stroke and heart problems. 

A screenshot from a video posted on YouTube shows the referee just before he was hit.
Greg Gibson / YouTube

A Texas high school assistant football coach has denied ordering two players to hit a referee and says he only resigned under threat of being fired.

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Oct. 23, 2011. That’s the last time Arlington felt the surge of two sold-out stadiums on the same day.

Nearly 150,000 fans will come to town Sunday. And with no public transit, Rangers Vice President of Ballpark Operations Sean Decker has a challenge.

Charles Henry via Flickr

I’m in the lobby of Buzz Bissinger’s hotel. He’s the author of Friday Night Lights, the book-turned-movie-turned-TV-show that conjures up a very specific image of Texas, of football, of high school. Lights rising over a stadium, bleachers filled with fans so loyal it almost feels surreal.

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For Dallas Cowboys fans, Sunday will be the end of a long drought, and they hope last season wasn’t a mirage.

Brandon Thibodeaux for NPR / MJR

As Super Bowl Sunday nears, a lot of people are talking about the team they’d liked to see win, the parties and, of course, the commercials. On Tuesday night at the Perot Museum in Dallas, the topic was football and ethics. 

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Concussions, domestic violence, performance-enhancing drugs, and now “deflate gate.” With the Super Bowl just days away, football may be drawing more attention off the field than on.

NPR’s Michel Martin is in town to host an event about football and ethics at the Perot Museum Tuesday night and she sat down with KERA’s vice president of news Rick Holter.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

A healed body doesn’t always mean a healed brain.

Nearly half of all reported sports concussions occur during high school football. And even when a student is ready to get back on the field, they might not be ready to return to class.

Universtiy of Texas Longhorns / Facebook

Five stories that have North Texas talking: the UT quarterback is leaving football due to concussions; one of the new “genius” grant winners has North Texas ties; explore the history of Dallas’ Pike Park; and more. 

US Air Force / flickr

The NFL reported 228 cases of diagnosed concussions in the 2013 season. Research has revealed prolonged head injuries suffered playing football have lead to dementia, cognitive decline, ALS and Parkinson's among its players. Steve Almond, writer and author of Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto, will join Krys Boyd at 1 p.m. on Think to discuss the issue from an aware fan's perspective.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

The football players at SMU will be wearing something new under their helmet this season. At the first game of the season, SMU’s Mustangs will all be wearing helmets outfitted with ballistics-grade kevlar.

UT Dallas

The concussion crisis has sent shock waves through the football world from the NFL all the way down to pee-wee leagues. A researcher at UT Dallas has developed a device to measure the force of hits and determine whether there’s been a brain injury.

John Fuller / Shutterstock

An explosive PBS documentary recently investigated concussions in the NFL -- and it featured former Dallas Cowboys star Troy Aikman.

The Frontline program, "League of Denial," reported on a concussion that the Cowboys quarterback suffered in 1994, as well as a scary exchange that he had with his agent following the incident. Aikman experienced significant memory issues. He sat in a darkened hospital room in North Texas, unable to stare at light.

For 30 years the Naval ROTC unit at the University of Texas has run the Texas-OU game ball from Austin to Dallas. Their counterparts at the University of Oklahoma did the same.

But neither will be making the trip this year. It’s not the death of a tradition – just another temporary casualty of the government shutdown.

The UT Naval ROTC unit is normally a part of the annual torchlight parade, part of a huge pep rally in anticipation of the Red River Shootout in Dallas. As part of the ceremonies at the base of the UT Tower, Coach Mack Brown would normally hand the game ball to the commanding officer  of the Naval ROTC student battalion.

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Almost 90 percent of concussions in high school football happen from player-to-player contact. That's one reason the NFL Players Association negotiated limits on tackling during practices.

But very few high school leagues have caught up with that NFL standard.

Texas has. The state that brought you Friday Night Lights and a $60 million high school football stadium in Allen has adopted one of the strictest limits on high school contact and tackling at practices.

Meet Armand Fernandez-Pierre. He’s 6-foot-3 and 335 pounds, and he plays nose tackle for the Episcopal School of Dallas football team. But when he’s not on the field, he’s on the school’s cheer squad. Yes, Armand is both a football player and cheerleader. “I am really loud, trust me,” Armand said of his cheering skills. “And I’m also one of the nicest, upbeat guys in our school. “But when it comes to football, I’m a scary guy to mess with.” The Dallas Morning News and KDFW-TV have featured him in recent days. Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly requested video of Armand in action.

The NFL and more than 4,500 retired players have reached an agreement calling for the league to contribute $765 million to a fund that will pay "medical and other benefits, as well as compensation" to those who suffered concussions and related injuries during their careers.

Details of the agreement, which would settle concussion-related lawsuits by former players and still needs a judge's OK, were released by the league early Thursday afternoon.

According to that statement:

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

The Dallas  Cowboys say they’ll be in their new Frisco headquarters and practice facility by 2016 after breaking ground next year. For decades, games, headquarters and practices were in Irving. Then games moved to their new, billion dollar-plus Arlington stadium in 2009. What’s the future looking like for Frisco and Irving?

"That's a big ol' lion." How else to describe the new golden cat on the field at Texas A&M University-Commerce's Memorial Stadium that stretches from sideline to sideline, dominating the area between the 25-yard lines?

That description of the giant cat, which may be the largest on-field logo in America, comes from Mark Haslett of NPR member station KETR, which is based at the school in eastern Texas.

Euless Trinity High mourns the loss of two former players from the tight-knit Tongan community in a New Mexico wreck. More than 1,000 people attended a memorial service for the young men -- one a Texas A&M Aggie, the other at the University of Utah.

Gena Breedlove

It isn’t only NFL superstars who get concussions. It’s high school basketball players, cheerleaders, soccer players, even softball players. More than 300,000 high school students were diagnosed with concussions last year.Still, there’s no gold standard for evaluating or treating concussions in young athletes. This weekend, a group of coaches, parents, patients and doctors are getting together at UT Arlington for a conference on concussions and youth safety.

Ben Philpott/KUT News.

Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, and Newt Gingrich are hoping their bus tours can form enough of a roadblock for Mitt Romney.