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Your Voice from Coach and Athletic Director

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November/December 2014 YOUR VOICE A SURVEY OF COACH AND ATHLETIC DIRECTOR READERS Is your program equipped to protect athletes? This fall, the University of Michigan football program drew criticism after quarterback Shane Morris took a nasty blow to the head, left the game for a short time and was reinserted into the game after being reviewed by doctors. It was later revealed he suffered a concussion, prompting many people to ask why he was put back on the field. The incident resulted in many fans and students calling for the jobs of head coach Brady Hoke and Athletic Director Dave Brandon. Concussions deserve serious attention, but many high schools are still not adequately prepared to evaluate or treat athletes who suffer head injuries. Coach and Athletic Director surveyed more than 700 readers about concussions in sports. Here are the results along with some of their responses. 1 Who is at fault for the situation at Michigan, where Morris was reinserted into a football game after suffering a concussion? (Check all that apply) "Who can say? This is another example of how difficult the recognition of concussions can be right after one has occurred. Second guessing always leaves questions." "Students try to hide concussion symptoms from trainers and coaches. Everyone is so busy with athletes that you do not see what is happening on the field, granted TV sees more than the people on the sidelines. The player should have sought help from teammates or teammates on the field should have noticed something was wrong." "A coach in the middle of a game is coaching the game. There is a reason there are tons of trainers and physicians on the sidelines. Poor communication amongst the medical staff and possibly an athletic trainer getting distracted led to the mistake." "The officials are also at fault for not removing him, nor calling a penalty for the hit that caused the concussion. The entire medical staff is also at fault for not doing an evaluation on the sidelines and taking his helmet away." 2 What should the punishment be for those responsible? "I honestly don't know. They have been punished by the media coverage in this matter. Everyone on that sideline who could see the hit should be told that in the future they can speak up. A team needs to be accountable to each other to protect the wellbeing of each player on the team." "If this is a first time incident, a review of policies and procedures is appropriate. If this is an ongoing problem, a reprimand of some sort is in order. It's best to err on the side of caution." "I feel that your athletic trainers should educate players and coaches to notice this, and a group of student trainers could watch the game from a different place on the sidelines and not in the middle of a team on the sideline. Or have them watch the game on a TV that is on the sideline or invest in sensors that go into players' helmets that record data on a computer." "Go through intensive training for concussion injuries, fine those responsible and make them pay for the medical expenses out of their own pocket. Let's face the facts of today, not many are moved to improve unless there is potential monetary loss." Coach Brady Hoke Athletic Director Dave Brandon Athletic Trainers Nobody: The situation was handled correctly 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% 57.0% 11.5% 81.4% 4.2% Suspension 37.0% Fine 8.1% Nothing 15.0% Other 32.5% They should be fired 7.4%

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