SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CN) – The NFL’s decades of taking concussions lightly may have produced some benefit after all. A new Illinois law requires student athletes to get medical approval before they can play again after a concussion.
The law takes effect immediately.
It also requires that coaches, players, parents and referees be educated about concussions. And it also requires state school boards to join with the Illinois High School Association to develop guidelines and educational materials about concussions.
Repeat concussions and the risks of returning to play too soon can cause permanent brain damage.
Many school athletic directors said they support the law, but some worry about funding to pay for staff to monitor athletes, The Associated Press reported.
The issue has come to a head in recent years after media reports and lawsuits from retired players showed that the NFL has pooh-poohed the dangers of traumatic brain injury from repeat concussions, despite knowing of the dangers for decades.
The NFL established its own so-called scientific panel on the subject, which devoted itself primarily to attacking legitimate science on the subject.