I get why its being done. In fact I agree with the principle behind the letters to the states, however it is tough to ask for someone to do something that you yourself have a difficult time doing/policing. The NFL and NCAA sent out letters to 19 Governors asking them to consider concussion legislation (via USAToday);
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NCAA President Mark Emmert are urging 19 governors to support legislation this year aimed at cutting down on concussions in youth football.
Goodell and Emmert sent letters Thursday to governors of states — such as Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin — they said do not have something akin to Washington state’s “Zackery Lystedt Law,” named for a middle school football player who sustained brain damage after he got a concussion and returned to play.
Although both the NFL and NCAA have outlined “guidelines” and mechanisms for concussions themselves, they do have a hard time enforcing them. A quick glance at just this blog unearths some serious issues: Kris Dielman, Mike Vick, Huffgate, and Bonnergate just to highlight a few. Just think how difficult that is for an entire state with more than one level and one sport to worry about. The NCAA should be able to help, but even there they are “recommendations/guidelines”, there are no teeth to the rules.
Legislation is good, but only good for one reason in my opinion: awareness. That is it, because there are ways to skirt the “laws” and rules, all it really takes is a good network of friends to find a doctor that has no clue and will write “cleared to resume activity” on a small script. Or, better yet all it takes is a coach/parent to “not notice anything unusual” and the kid to not say anything to anyone.
Until all the medical professionals fall in line with the current best practices and the athletes themselves are fully aware of this injury this issue cannot be resolved by mere legislation. How bout this novel idea, why doesn’t the NFL and NCAA start pressing the states to have athletic trainers available to (at the very least) secondary schools. Put some money where your mouth is, allow someone who is professionally trained to be there to assist. Heck those two institutions REQUIRE athletic trainers, yet the younger level, where more damage can go unnoticed there is very little in the way of support.
You know where most people get their information about sports? The world-wide web and television. You know what sport has the most eyes? Football. You know what league has the most influence on sports and football? The NFL.
I have personally noticed a trend in the right direction with adolescent hockey players and concussion recognition and resolution. In that post you will see my conclusion; the trend is better because their stars and players are accepting and handling the injury correctly, the trickle down effect – if you will.
I and we have not seen that in football, until the league starts to set a better precedent by being transparent, forthright, honest and humble this issue in football and in general sports will not wane. The 500lb. gorilla is being allowed to lounge in the room and drink your coffee.
Why are they so scared of the concussion, that is not the issue, the issue is the recovery from concussion. When in doubt sit them out, and then REST, REST, REST!!! (after seeing your medical professional, of course) Then take is slow getting back. Why rush?
Whew I am spent, have a great weekend and Go Broncos!