Gay Culverhouse, Ed.D.
403 Barbara Lane
Tampa, Florida 33609
The following remarks have been prepared for the House Judiciary Committee hearing
“Legal Issues Relating to Football Head Injuries” to be held Wednesday, October 28,
My father Hugh Culverhouse was awarded a National Football League expansion team in
1974. From that point until his death in 1994, I was intimately involved in football. I
served for ten years in an administrative role first as vice president for community
relations and treasurer and then as the president. I was at that time the highest-ranking
woman in the NFL.
From the beginning let there be no mistake, football consists of a series of games being
played to determine the ultimate Super Bowl champion. Contrary to popular opinion, this
is no longer a rich man’s hobby. In reality this is a cutthroat business. The goal is for the
franchise to make money. The product is games on the field. The “win” is a positive
financial bottom line.
From this vantage point, the most important insight I can give this committee concerns
the medical care of the players. This care is entrusted to the team physician: a man who is
hired by the coach and paid by the front office. This doctor has the ability to choose his
assistants without interference from the administration.
This doctor reports to the coach. He attends the combine prior to draft day and gives his
input as to the status of players’ previous college injuries. He is part of the physical
examines and pours over the medical records of the NFL hopefuls. Clearly he is helping
the coaches choose the incoming team.
The team doctor is invested in the performance of these players who make the team. He
does not want to be seen as lacking in assisting the coach in his selection. The team
doctor wants these players to succeed in helping the team win games. The team doctor
gets to the point where he will do anything to enhance the performance of these rookies.
With very few draft choices, the decis