Style or safety: Do too many helmets pose health risk?
Oregon football players used three helmets last season green, black and white that were mixed and matched with myriad uniform combinations.
The Ducks were pioneers in football fashion and other schools have followed, using helmets to make a statement. Now, the NCAA wants to determine whether style is coming at the expense of safety.
The governing body's football oversight committee will meet this week in Indianapolis and is to begin studying whether multiple helmets could lead to more concussions and serious head and neck injuries.
"The notion is that let's do as much research and data collection as we can to be able to start answering those questions as to whether one helmet or more helmets is the best way to go in terms of short and long-term safety," said Arizona State athletic director Ray Anderson, who leads the NCAA football competition committee that reports to oversight. "We just want to know what is the best way to go about it?"
Anderson's school is among those that have embraced ever-changing uniform combinations. Sometimes the Sun Devils' head gear is black. Sometimes white. Sometimes gold. Sometimes maroon or gray.
Last year, Oklahoma State players were given five helmets. Virginia Tech players had four. Schools often unveil the week's uniform-helmet combo on social media a few days before a game as a way to generate interest in the program.