Student Well-Being

Student-Athlete Concussion Legislation Advancing in Three More States

By Bryan Toporek — February 24, 2011 2 min read
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Colorado, Kansas, and Illinois are all discussing legislation that would force coaches to remove student-athletes from competitions if the athletes are suspected of having a concussion.

The Colorado bill, named after a high school football player who died from the concussion-related Second-Impact Syndrome, would also require coaches to receive free annual training on concussion recognition. Seeing as doctors in Alabama recently attributed the rise in student-athlete concussion diagnoses to higher awareness of the symptoms, the “coaches’ concussion training” aspect of the bill should have particular interest to other states considering similar types of legislation.

The Colorado bill has the support of Joe Browne, a former wide receiver for the Denver Broncos who currently serves as the senior adviser to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The legislation passed the Senate on Tuesday, and it’s now headed to the House for a vote.

In Illinois, the House Education Committee unanimously approved legislation on Wednesday that would require student-athletes suspected of a concussion to obtain a doctor’s note before returning to competition. The measure now moves to the full House for a vote.

And this week, the Kansas Senate unanimously approved a similar bill, which would require student-athletes suspected of a concussion to be removed from physical activity immediately. Much like in Illinois, the student-athlete would need a doctor’s note to resume playing. Part of the bill, according to, would require parents, schools, and coaches to receive information about concussions as well. The bill is moving to the state House for a vote.

These concussion bills can’t come soon enough for student-athletes, as the fears around the long-term impact of the condition returned to the forefront just last week with the suicide of a former NFL player.

Dave Duerson, a former member of the Chicago Bears, sent a text message to his family early last week, asking them to donate his brain to “the NFL brain bank,” according to CNN. He committed suicide last Thursday, shooting himself in the chest. Researchers at Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy will now examine his brain for signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease associated with head trauma.

As always, stay tuned to Schooled in Sports for the latest news on student-athlete concussion legislation.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.