ACC Commissioner Endorses NCAA Recommendations to Limit Live Contact

Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford has expressed support for the NCAA recommendations to limit live contact during in-season football practice to two days per week.

And it doesn’t end there as he announced earlier this week that the ACC is teaming with USA Football and others to endorse the Heads Up Football initiative.

“The last thing you want to see is someone damaged for life or hurt badly because of the game,” Swofford told the media. “That’s inevitable to some degree due to the nature of the sport, but anything that can be alleviated there, I think we need to do it, for the safety of the people playing it first and foremost, and for the game itself and its future.

“The game needs to be kept as safe as possible in order for the game to retain its popularity, and for people to want to play the game, and for moms and dads to want their sons to play the game.”


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Indiana State Legislature Passes SB222

The Indiana State Legislature passed SB222, the first bill of its kind in the country, which requires football coaches and assistant coaches who are coaching athletes under 20 years of age to complete a course in player safety and concussions at least once every two years. The bill also mandates high school student athletes that are removed from play due to suspected concussions or head injuries to not return to play until at least 24 hours have passed.

Providing input on the bill were members of the NFL Physicians Society and the Indianapolis Colts medical team, Drs. Hank Feuer and Terry Horner provided input for this bill. Through a concussion advisory committee, they helped approve the content of the coaches certifying course encompassing concussion awareness, heat acclimatization, equipment fit and coaching techniques.

Also over the past three years, with the help of a local pediatric sports medicine physician, Dr. Feuer and Dr. Horner have certified 176 Indiana physicians in the administration and interpretation of ImPACT, which provides trained clinicians with neurocognitive assessment tools and services that have been medically accepted as state-of-the-art best practices – as part of determining safe return to play decisions. The doctors conduct the sessions bi-monthly.

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Arizona Pop Warner, Mayo Clinic Researching Youth Sports-Related Injuries, like Concussions

Arizona Pop Warner Football and Cheer and Mayo Clinic recently announced a collaboration to conduct medical research about the effects of sport-related injuries, like concussions.

All participants ages 10 years and older in Arizona Pop Warner’s flag and tackle football programs, as well as all participants in the organization’s cheerleading programs, will be required to complete a comprehensive evaluation prior to play, including baseline testing.

“This is a very serious issue and one that we want to address immediately,” said Paul Watkins, Arizona Pop Warner Football and Cheer commissioner. “Youth football and cheer have so many wonderful benefits for kids, both on the field of play and in life. Our goal is to continue to provide these experiences and these benefits for our kids in the safest way possible. Between Arizona Pop Warner and Mayo Clinic, it is our duty to help drive the national conversation and spearhead research so that players and parents can feel confident about participating in youth football and cheer.”

The two organizations will officially launch the program at a state-wide clinic for Arizona Pop Warner’s Football and Cheer coaches on July 26 in Phoenix. David Dodick M.D., a neurologist at Mayo Clinic in Arizona and an expert in concussion care and director of the Mayo Clinic Concussion Program, will present the program details to more than 250 Arizona Pop Warner Football and Cheer coaches and administrators who are expected to be in attendance.

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