Here is our response the the TEXAS UIL and the Article listed below in the Dallas News: Story is Here
The story is quite revealing. It focuses on the University Interscholastic League in Texas who apparently set policies for the Hundreds of High Schools and tens of thousands of Texas High School Athletes.
Here is an explanation of who they are.
“The University Interscholastic League was created by The University of Texas at Austin to provide leadership and guidance to public school debate and athletic teachers. Since 1909 the UIL has grown into the largest organization of its kind in the world.”
The Dallas News article stated;
“Unlike guidelines recently adopted by leading concussion experts, the UIL leaves it open for an athlete to return to play on the same day if the athlete hasn’t lost consciousness and concussion symptoms are resolved within 15 minutes.”
This policy sets up kids for Second Impact Syndrome related death and trauma. Beyond that the potential for athletes to have increased concussions and damage including post concussion syndrome is amplified.
It also is an unthinkable approach to the concussion and brain trauma in Youth Sports. How is that type of Policy “providing leadership and guidance” as per the UIL’s Mission statement? Fact is that it is not. Either the UIL is a shame organization….which I am sure is not the case… or we have a situation where good old boy politics and the blood and guts football culture is running the show. That seems to be what is at work here.
In Texas they are saying that an athlete showing signs of concussions or suspected of having a concussion can be allowed to come back in 15 minutes. Do the trainers in Texas have the ability to see inside the athletes head and diagnose what is going on in there?
We know already that kids will lie and in the lights of a Texas Friday Night night they can be convinced to do almost anything to get back on that field.
What about the teams with no trainer?? Now that Texas Coach is in a position to clear his kids to go back in? Oh no no no. That is a formula for disaster.
Here is what one retired Texas trainer of 36 years had to say.
“Bucky Taylor has been one of the state’s most educated high school athletic trainers with regard to concussions. Taylor, who recently retired after 36 years as Mesquite High School’s athletic trainer, said he believes that more than half of UIL schools don’t follow the concussions protocol.”
Now Texas did pass Will’s Bill but that is such a basic Bill that all it requires is Coaches to get basic training on concussion signs and symptoms. It is hard to imagine that they can track that well in Texas.
To the UIL we say this. You are putting the young athletes of Texas at grave risk and not meeting any of the current thinking on precautions and best practices regarding concussion prevention and return to play. You have to get serious on this issue.
Standards of Care by almost anyones standards require so much more.
Our founders have all suffered horrendous injury and death due to these types of policies or should I say Lack of Policy. Now as a Coach I know that Texas is the heart of blood and guts football but that type of play has led to the dangerous culture we have now and why boys and men are dying and being disabled at a more regular rate.
I love Texas and the people. This is one of the few issues that I can say that they are on the wrong side of and they need to do more. I am sure deep down that they know that.
BrainChampions.org and Team 7:15 will be sending the UIL a letter very soon outlining our positions.
Woe be the Coach or school district who makes the wrong return to play decision and allows an athlete to be injured. The legal liability is so very high and knowing better they would be completely exposed. Let alone the guilt that a major injury can have on a program.
Let’s hope that they do the right thing and reverse their current thinking on this matter.