• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 38s

Former Service High School star concerned about player safety

By Dave Goldman Photojournalist: Dave Leval - 10:28 PM August 21, 2016
ANCHORAGE –

Mark Schlereth enjoyed a long, prosperous career in the National Football League (NFL). The two-time Pro Bowler — 1992 and 1999 — started in 140 games and was part of three Super Bowl Champion teams.

But like every player, he paid a physical price. In his 12-year career as an offensive lineman with the Washington Redskins and Denver Broncos he became known for solid play and for surgeries: 29 in all—20 on his knees.

Fortunately, he escaped what can be a brutal means of making a living relatively healthy. Now retired, he speaks freely and with strong opinion on the issue of concussions, which has become a topic of concern in recent years. While the league is doing more to ensure player safety, he says further measures are needed.

There is now a concussion policy involving stricter guidelines and policing of players when they get “dinged.” If violated, it can cost teams $100,000. A loss of draft picks could follow in a second infraction. But it needs to go farther Schlereth says.

“Fining an organization worth $4 billion [only] $100,000 is like turning over your loose couch cushions and looking for loose change,” said the 1984 Service High School graduate. “It’s a start but not close to what it should be.”

This season, touchbacks will come out to the 25 yard line instead of the 20 to entice teams to take the extra five yards and minimize the bone jarring collisions that occur on kickoffs. Schlereth said he sees a failure waiting to happen.

“A couple of brain trusts over on Park Avenue in New York City put it together, thinking it would create a safer environment,” he said. “I think it will probably backfire on them.“

He thinks kickers will be instructed by their coaches to kick the ball a shorter distance to force the receiving team to return it.

Follow KTVA 11 Sports on Facebook and Twitter.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Crash temporarily shuts down Seward Hwy overnight

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 27, 23:37

    Last updated at 6:15 a.m. on Sunday, May 28 The Seward Highway was completely closed in both directions for about five hours overnight following a crash at mile 76 near Portage Glacier Road. The crash occurred sometime just before 11 p.m. and the road finally reopened to traffic around 4 a.m. Whittier police were first […]

  • News

    Jet owned by Elvis sold for $430,000 at auction

    by Associated Press on May 27, 19:09

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – A private jet once owned by Elvis Presley has been auctioned after sitting on a runway in New Mexico for 35 years. GWS Auctions Inc. says the plane sold for $430,000 on Saturday at a California event featuring celebrity memorabilia. The auction house says Elvis designed the interior that has gold-tone […]

  • Politics

    Judge dismisses lawsuit against Clinton by Benghazi families

    by Associated Press on May 27, 19:02

    WASHINGTON (AP) – A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Hillary Clinton filed by the parents of two Americans killed in the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington says the former secretary of state didn’t defame the parents when disputing allegations that she had lied. The […]

  • News

    Remains of Arkansas soldier killed in Colony Glacier plane crash returned home

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 27, 18:52

    An Arkansas National Guardsman who was killed in plane crash in Alaska 65 years ago has finally made it home. Staff Sgt. Robert Dale Van Fossen was laid to rest Saturday in Little Rock. Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson ordered flags lowered to half mast in Van Fossen’s honor. His remains were found among the wreckage of […]

  • News

    Historic planes head to Dutch Harbor to mark 75th anniversary of Aleutians battle

    by Dave Leval on May 27, 18:43

    John Pletcher’s invitation is too good to ignore — a chance for myself to get back in the sky for the first time in a while. It takes his JRF-5 Grumman Goose just seconds to take flight at Anchorage’s Merrill Field, then it’s off to Dutch Harbor, to take part in the 75th anniversary of […]

  • News

    NTSB investigating separate fatal crashes near Fairbanks, Haines

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 27, 14:46

    Last updated at 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 27 Two people are confirmed dead and one is in critical condition following a fatal plane crash near the small Southeast Alaska community of Haines. Alaska State Troopers (AST) confirmed 29-year-old David Kunat of Juneau and an unnamed adult male passenger from California were killed in the crash. Chan Valentine, […]

  • News

    Feds to gain control over Kuskokwim king salmon management

    by Associated Press on May 27, 12:55

    BETHEL, Alaska (AP) – Starting next month, the management of king salmon on a southwestern Alaska river will transfer from state control to federal. KYUK-AM reports that as of June 12, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will begin to oversee the salmon living on lower and middle Kuskokwim River. Under federal law, the switch is […]

  • Lifestyle

    Gregg Allman of The Allman Brothers Band dies at age 69

    by Associated Press on May 27, 11:53

    SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) – A publicist for rock legend Gregg Allman says the organist and singer for The Allman Brothers Band has died. He was 69. Ken Weinstein confirmed Saturday that Allman died at his home in Savannah, Georgia. Allman had cancelled some 2016 tour dates for health reasons. In March 2017, he canceled performances […]