The Illinois High School Association says a lawsuit isn’t the way to get stricter concussion protocols in prep sports. The lawsuit filed by a former quarterback at Notre Dame College Prep in Niles, Daniel Bukal, claims the IHSA didn’t do enough to protect him and other athletes from concussions, and wants stronger safeguards regarding head injuries put in place.
The IHSA argues it has made dealing with concussions a “top priority,” and IHSA lawyer Thomas Heiden says any further regulations shouldn’t be decided by the courts.
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“It ought be addressed, and it is aggressively being addressed by the school boards and by our legislature,” Heiden said.
The legislature did pass a law requiring high school coaches to take an IHSA-administered test to prove they can spot the symptoms of a concussion. While the focus has been on football, coaches from all sports are required to pass the test every two years.
The IHSA does have a policy to keep players who have suffered a concussion inactive until cleared by a doctor or a certified athletic trainer, but some smaller schools in the IHSA don’t have trainers or doctors present at games or practices.