Benefitting from an agenda slot immediately prior to Coach Dabo Swinney of theNational Champion Clemson Tigers, PLP presented Friday to a crowd of 600 at theNIKE Coach of the Year/Mid-South Clinic in the Goldstrike Casino & Hotel, Tunica, MS.
PLP founder Terry O'Neil surprised the audience by revealing that seven of eight Southeastern states -- Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida -- lost high school football participation from 2016 to 2017, the most recent data available. Only Alabama gained participation during that period.
In the next five weeks, PLP will present to state coaches' associations in South Carolina, Tennessee and Louisiana.
New Jersey Reaction Overwhelming
Reaction has been overwhelming to last week's announcement by the NJSIAA andNJFCA that New Jersey is the first state to adopt PLP's recommended contact limits. The blizzard of coverage has created high school football's most positive national moment in many years. As of last night, our PLP newsletter announcing the reforms has been shared 700 times. The USA Today story has been shared 1500 times.
Among the reports:
In addition, several members of the PLP family tweeted or messaged their support. Among those:
Archie Manning: "This aging quarterback is very lucky. I still get to watch Eli and my junior-high grandsons, Arch and Heid. And I love my work with the National Football Foundation. We talk a lot about the future of the game, and about the need for leadership. We saw the future today in New Jersey -- new guidelines by some bold leaders."
Dick Vermeil: "I have been a believer in Practice Like Pros all along, so I'm pleased to see the NJSIAA and NJFCA follow their lead. This is a great day for all the kids in New Jersey who play the game."
Warren Moon: "Congrats to the NJSIAA and NJFCA for continued hard work to make our sport safer."
Anthony Munoz: "Congratulations, New Jersey, on the great news. And thank you, Practice Like Pros, for all you do."
Leigh Steinberg: "Congratulations to New Jersey HS administrators and coaches who have instituted enlightened limits on unnecessary contact in football."
Ed Marinaro: "Congrats to the NJSIAA and NJFCA for their breakthrough legislation. Great move. Long overdue."
Rocky Bleier: "Big congratulations are in order for the NJSIAA and NJFCA. This decision will lead to successful and healthy players without compromising technique."
Buddy Teevens: "Congrats on your decision to reduce live contact in practice. You've made the game safer for your players....and others will follow your lead!"
Of all the words written and spoken last week, here's a summation from radio commentatorSteve Trevelise of New Jersey 101.5 FM: "It's only a matter of time before the whole country comes around to this."