Coaches and trainers support concussion changes - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Coaches and trainers support concussion changes

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

Nearly three years after former athletes filed the first of several concussion lawsuits against the NCAA, a settlement has been reached.

It will change guidelines regarding how concussions are treated and provide $75 million for medical monitoring and research.

Some believe this is a step in the right direction for student athletes across the country.

"You know I'm a dad and at the end of the day I don't want anyone getting injured if we can prevent it," said Southeast Missouri State University head football coach Tom Matukewicz.

Coach Tuke said with camp right around the corner, player safety is something he plans to emphasize.

"From day one we bring officials in to tell them what they are looking for," Coach Matukewicz said. "We bring doctors in to try and talk to them about safety and educate them as much as we can."

Education among players, coaches and staff is something that will be changed due to the NCAA settlement. Others include preseason baseline testing to compare with if something happens, not allowing student athlete to return the same day and reporting concussions and what was done after

"The more education you have the better," said Ben Fox, an athletic trainer at Southeast. "If a coach can keep eyes on their athlete, the more the athlete knows what is going on, the more informed everyone is, the better off it is."

Fox said the current policy in place at SEMO is 72 hours. The athlete must be symptom free for at least that time before it goes to the next step.

"Then we do a physical test with them," Fox said. "With some athletes, the physical testing can bring back the symptoms so if the symptoms do come back during that testing and start the whole process over."

The goal to Fox and Matukewicz being to medically clear the player 100 percent.

"Every kid is different," Coach Matukewicz said. "Some kids react different. We have pre data and we will use the post data to see those kids are responding and at the end of the day, their safety is what is important."

But the settlement comes with questions, chief among them being damages for the former athletes. It does not pay for medical expenses. They are, however, allowed to file individual suits.

Copyright 2014 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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