Why Concussion Legislation is Needed

18 Apr

Many states across the country are in the process or have already passed legislation in the management of concussions.  With awareness of the injury rising and with pressure changing on athletes to no longer play with a concussion, you may ask yourself why this is needed.

This article out of San Diego, CA  illustrates what has been going of for years between knowledgable ATs and coaches all across the country.  Egotistical coaches whose desire to win outweighs their care for their athlete’s health make bad decisions.  In this particular case, Scotty Eveland started a football game when it is alleged that the school’s AT, Scott Gommel, informed the head football coach that Eveland had a concussion and couldn’t play.

Three witnesses, all assistant student trainers, have testified during depositions that they either had firsthand knowledge of Eveland having been ill before the game or that they were told later by athletic trainer Scott Gommel what had happened.

They said Eveland went to Gommel shortly before the start of the game and asked not to play because his head was “killing” him and he was having trouble focusing on the ball. They said Hauser told Gommel that he was the coach, and he would decide who would play, then put Eveland in the game.

This is not a slam dunk case as Gommel and Hauser both deny having the conversation.  But what is known is the Scotty Eveland will be in a vegatative state for the rest of his life because of a decision to play in a high school football game.  The evidence seems to suggest that he was experiencing concussive symptoms the week of the brain injury. 

If the laws that are being considered now were on the books and would have been followed, Scotty Eveland probably would be living the life of a normal 20 year old.  As it stands now, many coaches out their believe that they have the power to play anyone they want to play even over the objections of the AT.  Concussion legislation will give ATs the needed power they must have to stand up to these coaches.  It will also give ATs the legs they need to stand on when the school administration won’t stand up for their authority.

I have heard many nightmare stories of ATs who inform coaches of an injury and that the player can’t continue only to be ignored by the coach.  When the AT tells the administration of the coach’s lapse of judgment, the administration backs the coach.  Sports Safety Legislation will give legal authority to the AT to make return to play decisions and this is much needed.

Athletes need athletic trainers.  Athletic trainers must have the power and authority to make return to play decisions to prevent more and more stories like Scotty Eveland’s trajic tale!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: