Texas Politician Readies for Another Pass at a Cognitive Testing Bill

A Texas politician is renewing calls for a measure that would require high school students to undergo mandatory baseline cognitive tests before participation in athletic activities.

Rep. Eddie Lucio III (Brownsville Democrat) is credited with helping to push through requirements in 2011 for replacement and reconditioning of high school football helmets. But the initial push for mandatory tests failed. Now he’s hoping that increased “awareness” will fuel its passage during the next legislative session in 2013.

“There’s been more and more awareness of the permanent effects of brain injuries suffered by athletes,” Lucio told the Brownsville Herald, adding that “objectivity” is needed. “There’s this overwhelming pressure for kids to get on the field,” he said. “Sometimes they’ll look a coach right in the eye and say, ‘I feel fine.’”

Among the supporters of the cognitive testing bill during the last session were the Texas Medical Association, the Texas Pediatric Association and the Texas High School Coaches Association.

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