University plans to damage ears?

Penn State University is working and hoping to damage the ears of many visitors. That, anyway, seems to be the gist of this report by Inside Science News Service:

Penn State’s Audible Assault
How the Nittany Lions are using the science of acoustics to help crank up home field crowd noise

Loud stadiums help win games, and Penn State’s Beaver Stadium is one of the loudest in college football. When its crowd roars at a visiting quarterback, his calls can only be heard from a foot and a half away.

Next season, the university’s athletic department will put into play a new strategy to make its field even louder thanks to a team of acoustic scientists. The goal is to send a deafening wall of sound at the opposing team’s offensive line….

Stephen Hambric, an acoustics faculty member, was among the engineers stationed on the field at Beaver Stadium to measure crowd noise at an Iowa-Penn State football game. Photo: Curtis Chan, Penn State University.

(Thanks to investigator Todd Culver for bringing this to our attention.)