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Former NFL defensive back Kelso to tackle concussion issue at Edinboro University


Former NFL defensive back Mark Kelso will address the topic of sports-related concussions in a talk, titled “Confronting the Concussion Crisis,” at Edinboro University on Tuesday, April 29, at 7:30 p.m. in Compton Hall, Room 107A.

Kelso, who played in four Super Bowls as a member of the Buffalo Bills, is a leading advocate for better helmet protection for all youth sports and is working toward that objective with the Hanson Group, an Atlanta-based materials research company. Kelso’s advocacy for concussion prevention stems in part from his own playing career.  After suffering his fourth concussion in two seasons in 1989, Kelso began wearing a special “pro cap” addition to his helmet, which he credits with extending his playing career for another five seasons.

“Mark was part of a panel that we hosted in October after a screening of the PBS/Frontline documentary ‘League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis,’ and we really felt that he had a lot more to say about this increasingly newsworthy topic,” said Dr. Tony Peyronel, chairperson of the Department of Communication and Media Studies. “So we are absolutely delighted that he is coming back to campus this spring to again share his expertise and provide additional perspective on an issue that is relevant from youth sports all the way up to the National Football League.”

After retiring from the NFL, Kelso began working in education and has done so for the past 17 years, first as a fifth-grade teacher in East Aurora, New York, and later as the advancement/executive director at St. Mary’s High School. He has also coached football at the collegiate, high school and youth levels, and for the last eight seasons, has served as a member of the Buffalo Bills radio broadcast team as a color analyst.

Event tickets, which are $10 for general admission and $5 for students and Edinboro University President’s Pass holders, can be reserved at

Only 200 total tickets will be sold, and all proceeds will go to Edinboro University’s Friends of Communication Fund, which provides financial support for scholarships, special events and EU student organizations such as ETV, the Spectator and WFSE-FM.

The event is sponsored by Edinboro University’s Department of Communication and Media Studies and the university’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).