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Northwestern to get SpeedFlex Helmets

Northwestern tweeted out a picture of its new Riddell SpeedFlex helmets on Friday, and InsideNU was told that it will be an option for players to wear this season.

https://twitter.com/nuequipstaff/statuses/452097635252318209

The helmets will be worn by a number of teams this season, and they're considered to be top shelf when it comes to anti-concussion technology. More from SB Nation:

SpeedFlex builds upon technology used in earlier helmet models. Some of its features:

- Selected parts of the helmet flex, in order to reduce impact-force transfer to the athlete's head. Flex is engineered into the helmet's shell, facemask, and attachment system.

- A new ratchet-style chinstrap attachment system was developed based on player feedback and is meant to be a new way to secure proper fit each play.

- A redesigned interior liner that conforms to the shape of a player's head and fits the contours of the helmet shell (crown, back/side, occipital, lock, faceframe) for improved comfort and fit

Concussion protection is one of the things CAPA will ask for if it is able to engage in collective bargaining. The university has three weeks to convince its players to vote no to the union. Is this a bargaining chip? Who knows. [Update: Northwestern SID Paul Kennedy said this has nothing to do with the union. "We're not going to stop doing the same things we've always done."]

The union movement is about gaining representation in the future, and CAPA president Ramogi Huma said the organization does not plan to compromise, but this may make a difference for players who are on the fence.