The Georgia legislature is currently considering House Bill 673, titled “Georgia’s Return to Play Act of 2012”. Several current and former Atlanta Falcons jplayers were scheduled to testify at a House hearing on the bill set for February 8. The bill would require the State Board of Education to create standards for all schools in the state with regard to diagnosis and treatment of young athletes suspected of sustaining a concussion.
The bill would essentially limit allowing players to return to play the same day and would require schools to have “qualified medical persons” (to be determined by the State Board) to approve any return to play for an athlete diagnosed as having sustained a concussion.
Supporters of the bill want to include provisions for requiring high school and youth coaches to receive educational training about concussions. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NCAA Executive Director Mark Emmert have both sent letters in support of the bill.
This bill is an example of the growing movement across the country to increase awareness of the dangers of concussions at all levels of sport. It is perhaps not coincidental that a number of former NFL players recently filed a federal lawsuit against the NFL that contends the NFL know for several years about the long-term dangers of traumatic brain injuries, of which concussions are one type of, and downplayed and covered up this information.
Readers can find more about the bill by clicking here.