Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Toby Hyde, David Johnsen and Kermit Sheker, Iowa City Noon; Shelby Colwell, Boy Scouts of America, guest of Byran Clemons; Greg Morris, speaker.


Tuesday, Feb. 26 - Grant Recognition dinner at the Kirkwood Room.  Cost $15. No a.m. meeting on that day.

Sunday, Feb. 17 – Habitat for Humanity Dance

Thursday, Feb. 28 – Rotary Board meeting

Dean Carrington is in the process of up-dating the club’s By-laws.  Elaine Shalla has distributed the proposed Amendments.  Club members will vote on the proposed changes at the March 12th meeting.

Shoes – we are asking for members to bring shoes, particularly children’s shoes, to donate to Ministries which will be sending them to Africa

Pam Ehly mentioned that the money collected from Happy Bucks goes to a community organization each month.  Sometimes there is a specifically designated recipient, such as last month when our collection of $400 went to the Mexican orphaned children’s dance group, Folklorico, which will be performing at the District 6000 convention on April 12.


Frank Juvan introduced our speaker, Greg Morris, who is Equipment Manager for the UI Football team and has been for 25 years.  Mr. Morris’s son, James, is a middle linebacker on the team.

Since there is a lot in the news lately about concussions caused by playing football (also in soccer), this was the focus of Morris’s talk. 

He brought with him 3 different-style helmets and described the process of custom-fitting them to the head of each player.  The different styles are for different fits and are lined inside with cushioning.  Helmets are made of plastic and are constantly checked for cracks.  They are manufactured in Rock Island.

He said that the helmets are tested by putting them on a simulated skull and hitting with an 8 lb. weight.  Sensors tell the effects.  Helmets are tested yearly.

Players have 2 helmets – a practice helmet and a game helmet—all custom fit by Morris himself.  They also each have 4 jerseys (2 black, 2 white).  Between the helmets, uniforms, shoes, shoulder pads, etc. each player wears over $1000-worth of equipment.

The cost for equipping the team comes to about $450,000 annually with $250,000 of that coming from Nike for using their products.

Regarding concussions.  Mr. Morris stated that once a player has a concussion or is suspected of having one, he is tested by simple tests, such as saying the ABC’s backwards or being asked to remember a string of words.  Once the player passes the test, he will be retested and allowed to come back, but gradually.

The team has $13 million-worth of injury insurance.  But, the most important thing is to be very careful with the players.

Mr. Morris also brought some footballs.  He said that he orders 12 dozen footballs minimum each year.  If a football gets waterlogged, it has to be thrown out as it is no longer good.  Balls that have been used have a red dot on them.  They need to weigh 13 lbs.  He also noted that players have favorite balls – kickers, quarterbacks have preferred balls.

Going on the road with the team means that Norris must bring all the equipment and clothes for 70 players who are 18-20 years old!  In addition to players, there are 25 coaches, staff and video people who accompany the team.

This is a year-round job for Morris who began his career as a Certified Athletic Trainer, but, as s student, helped out in the locker room.  His job is to equip and take care of players but also means controlling costs, maintaining inventory much of which is computerized, budgeting, travelling, and recycling used gear.