Retired Chapel Hill professor collects data on dangerous sports
In 1960, lacrosse and football coach at UNC, Fred Mueller, agreed to chip in some hours to help oversee the "football death log" created by the American Football Coaches Association back in 1931. Fifty years later, the retired professor is still supervising the National Center for Catastrophic Injury Research at the University. Since 1980, he has been calling the involved coaches and coaxing from them an explanation of how athletes suffered catastrophic injury--first in football, but now in all sports including a sadly surprisingly number of cheerleaders. The 74-year-old retiree has analyzed more than 1000 fatal, paralyzing or otherwise horrific injuries, leading to important improvements in the safety of schoolboy and schoolgirl sports. Among his achievements was the recognition of an undue number of diving accidents involving relay swimmers, and the adoption of the current minimum depths for competitive racing pools. He will soon be publishing a book about his experiences, entitled "Football Fat alities and Catastrophic Injuries: 1931-2008."