College Football: Maryland's New Field Should Set the Standard in College Game

Michael Felder@InTheBleachersNational CFB Lead WriterJune 22, 2012

COLLEGE PARK, MD - SEPTEMBER 24:  Defensive back Matt Robinson #40 of the Maryland Terrapins leads the team onto the field before the start of thier game against the Temple Owls at Byrd Stadium on September 24, 2011 in College Park, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Maryland has been blasted recently over their uniforms, over their head coach's handling of the program and, of course, over their rumored black field. Now comes the time to praise the Terrapins for taking a major step forward in the safety of their athletes and being on the cutting edge of fieldturf technology. The Terrapins are sticking with a traditional green turf, and while people are laughing about the state flag end zone, the Terps are helping their athletics program out in a big way.

As Chip Patterson reported for CBS Sports, the Terrapins are going to be using "Coolplay" technology with their new field. The folks at FieldTurf are pretty excited about things and as the release shows, athletes and trainers should be too:

The project at Maryland is the first of its kind in the United States and will feature exclusive new heat-reducing-technology - CoolPlay - which, coupled with the patented silica sand and cryogenic rubber infill, will provide the facility with the "coolest" infill technology.  FieldTurf has done extensive temperature testing which shows that CoolPlay infill provides for a difference of up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit versus traditional rubber infill systems.

For those of you who do not understand the impact think of this; in September, after a field is baking in the sun for hours prior to and during the game, field temperatures can register as high as 10 to 25 degrees higher than the ambient temperatures. That's a lot for athletes that are out there sweating and trying to stay hydrated. By helping cut the temperature 15 degrees, this new CoolPlay system is helping athletes stave off heat related complications; everything from cramps and rapid dehydration to more serious ailments.

However, the CoolPlay technology is not the only step Maryland is taking to help protect their athletes. The school is also installing a Brock Powerbase to go along with the CoolPlay system. In addition to the Cradle to Cradle Certification billing that comes with the Brock Powerbase, the base itself is the only foundation that has been proven to help reduce the risk of brain trauma. As the FieldTurf release shows us, this is a big move given the concussion issues surrounding college football:

Brock Powerbase, the only product in the synthetic turf industry to receive Cradle to Cradle certification, has been tested and shown to reduce the likelihood of traumatic brain injury by up to 50 percent in a study conducted by BioMechanica, LLC.

Maryland has deserved much of the ridicule that has been kicked their way. The Terrapins have mishandled many of the issues surrounding not just their football program but their athletic program as a whole. Cutting sports, blocking transfers and the like don't paint the athletic department in a positive light. Now, with the moves the Terrapins are making to protect their athletes and get on the cutting edge of safety when it comes to field technology, it is most certainly a time to praise the University of Maryland.