Concussions Were Focus of Collegiate Sport Research Institute Meeting

Concussions Were Focus of Collegiate Sport Research Institute Meeting

April 22, 2013

A panel discussion at the annual conference of the University of North Carolina's Collegiate Sport Research Institute focused on head trauma in college athletics. The National Collegiate Athletic Association in 2010 mandated that all institutions develop concussion management plans, and it has adjusted some rules to discourage dangerous forms of contact. However, according to Ramogi Huma, founder of the National College Players Association, the NCAA needs to accept more responsibility. "There's a lot the NCAA can do in policy," Huma said. "By avoiding it, they are a cancerous part of the culture." Huma is pushing the association to adopt policies similar to those in the Ivy League, which in 2012 limited contact in practices to try to reduce head trauma, and is working with the Big Ten Conference to gather data on concussions.

The discussion also focused on how college athletics' culture does not take concussions seriously. Jason Mihalik, an assistant professor of exercise and sport science at UNC, said he has heard coaches tell concussed students to just take the concussion test and get back out on the field. Powerful coaches often override the decisions of athletic trainers or physicians who decide whether an athlete can participate. In multiple cases last year, athletes showed obvious signs of concussions on the field but were not removed from the game. "I think there's a need for independent doctors," Huma said. "The person who at the end of the day decides whether or not the player returns should not have a conflict of interest."

Concussion Confusion
Allie Grasgreen
Inside Higher Ed
April 19, 2013

Sports Injury