While the Ivy League often tops college rankings, Ivy football does not. But Wednesday, the League took a bold step to be at the forefront of the sport within the NCAA.

Starting this football season, the League is making stringent rule changes regarding football practices, limiting teams to only two full-contact practices a week in order to reduce chances of concussions for student-athletes. This is a 60-percent reduction from NCAA standards.

The change is all the more important after a study in the Journal of Athletic Training found that players sustain more head injuries during practices than they do during games.

Not only do the changes restrict potentially harmful practices, they also call for greater safety education for players. This includes teaching players how to avoid leading with the head — tackling other players headfirst — as well as raising awareness for signs and symptoms of concussions.

We commend the League for being so concerned with the safety of its students and for taking a leadership role in concussion awareness for athletic programs across the country.

It is imperative that the League also look at other high-risk sports — lacrosse, ice hockey and soccer are not far behind football in incidence of concussions — and continue to press on the issue of safety in college sports. The NCAA should also look into introducing safety restrictions for all athletic programs.

What do you think about the restrictions? Should the NCAA follow suit in setting new guidelines for dangerous sports practices? Send us your thoughts to letters@theDP.com.

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