SBD/February 18, 2013/Colleges

NCAA Developing Task Force To Study Various Issues Around Concussions

NCAA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian Hainline today revealed the organization’s plan to develop a Concussion Task Force that will begin meeting in April to study various issues around concussions. Hainline, speaking during the NFL-NCAA Coaches Academy Seminar on Player Health & Safety in Charlotte, described the task force as a group of about a dozen scientists that will “try to make sense out of everything.” He said, “It’s not a group of scientists who want to just protect football, it’s a group of scientists who really are concerned about human beings and what this game is about and what life is about.” Hainline said the group’s goal is “to try to come to a consensus on what we know and what we don’t know and how we can move forward with what we don’t.” Hainline: “It’s looking at the broad range of concussions in football from a scientific point of view, a clinical management point of view, diagnosis and long-term consequences. It’s a way for the NCAA to start taking the lead in this.” The NCAA’s main objective is to look at concussions from what is causative versus what is correlation and then come up with a management plan that makes sense across all collegiate divisions of football. Hainline said, “It might be different for a Football Bowl Subdivision school than it is for a Division III school. The realities are different there, too. But ultimately, the sense of how this is prevented and managed is going to be equal across the board.” The results of the study will go to the NCAA Board, who will evaluate the findings and determine the next course of action in terms of implementing rules and regulations for dealing with concussions. Hainline said this process will take place “over the next few years” and that there is no specific timeline in place for when the study will be complete.
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