Kevin Guskiewicz of the University of North Carolina is involved in discussions within the NFL, NCAA and the National Federation of High School Associations about possible rule changes designed to make football safer.
Guskiewicz said any changes need to be based on data, not supposition.
"Let's look at the data, see what is happening and then react to what we know," Guskiewicz said.
Some of the ideas being discussed include:
Move the kickoff line up: The NFL moved its kickoff from the 30-yard line to the 35. The 2011 NFL data has not been evaluated, but Guskiewicz anticipates there were more offensive series starting at the 20-yard line during the 2011-12 season.
"On a kickoff, you've got 11 on 11 running full speed and colliding. If you decrease the distance, they don't have as much speed," Guskiewicz said.
The NFL also shortened the run up distance to the kickoff line. Players can no longer get a 10-yard running start on kickoffs. Players must line up within five yards of the kickoff line.
The National Federation, which writes the high school rules, and the NCAA are expected to consider moving the kickoff line up and to limit the run-up distance. A recommendation from the NCAA rules committee would move the kickoff from the 30 to the 35 and would place the ball at the 25 after a touchback.
Guskiewicz said high schools might want to consider moving the kickoff line to the 50-yard line and altering rules about onside kicks. "We see a lot of catastrophic injuries on kickoffs at that age," he said.
Eliminate kickoffs: Giving teams the ball at their own 20-yard line following an opponents' score would eliminate some injuries, but would fundamentally change the game, Guskiewicz said. "The on-side kick is...part of the strategy," he said.
Eliminate the three-point stance: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent, said the three-point stance (one hand on the ground) was developed to make smaller players more competitive against bigger opponents, but results in head-to-head collisions.
Teaching proper techniques may be more effective than eliminating the three-point stance, Guskiewicz said.
"I think the idea of eliminating the three-point stance has been set to the side," Guskiewicz said.
Make better helmets: Guskiewicz believes better helmets will be developed, but that no helmet can completely eliminate concussions.
"Some people put a lot of stock in the continued development of better and better helmets," he said. "But there is never going to be a helmet that completely protects a player from a concussion. We'll have helmets that perform better in a laboratory setting, but helmets can create a false senses of security."
Keep helmets on: High school players whose helmets come off during play must leave the game for one play under a new rule adopted by the National Federation of State High School Associations. Many times a helmet coming off is a sign that the helmet is not fitted properly.
The NCAA and the NFL are studying helmets being lost during play.