UIL Mulls Concerns on Student-Athlete Concussions

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The UIL Medical Advisory Committee met Sunday in Austin to address concerns and issues regarding students' health and safety.

    A University Interscholastic League committee is expected to make new recommendations aimed at preventing student-athlete concussions.

    The Medical Advisory Committee met Sunday in Austin to address concerns and issues regarding students' health and safety.

    Earlier this month, the state commissioner of education and the UIL approved a rule that requires high school athletes to sit out at least one day after sustaining a head injury.

    The change requires athletes to sit out the rest of the day and return only after he or she is cleared by a licensed medical professional.

    The rule goes into effect Aug. 1.

    The guidelines also will eliminate the grading of concussions for severity. The changes follow recommendations of the National Federation of State High School Associations.

    Bowie High School football player Kolby Listenbee said his concussion was frightening. He landed on his head after he got pushed while jumping in the air. Listenbee said he blacked out for 15 to 30 minutes.

    "I was real scared, and then they said if I went to sleep or whatever, like, before a certain time, I could die," he said.

    The incident also scared his coach, Kenny Perry.

    "As a coach, you are wanting the kid to be OK," he said. "You are yelling, you're cheering, you are doing everything you can to get that kid pepped up, but, you know, when they have a concussion, there’s nothing you can do about that," he said.

    Perry said new studies show that people who've had concussions in the past or played with them have more problems later in life.

    Last year, Arlington implemented impact testing. Players were given a series of questions to answer at the beginning of the year. Student-athletes who sustained a concussion would have to correctly answer the same questions within 48 hours or not play.

    Listenbee said he follows safety precautions every time he is on the field.

    "Football, it means a lot to me right now and, I have the chance to go to different colleges and stuff to play football, so try do anything stay safe keep on playing rest of my career," he said.