By Ken Reed
Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, a vocal critic of the NFL and its concussion policy, is now targeting the NCAA. Sanchez is questioning whether or not the NCAA is taking proper action to protect players from head injuries following the death of Frostburg State University football player Derek Sheely. Sheely suffered a head injury in practice and later died. Sheely’s family is suing the NCAA and individuals at Frostburg State.
According to a Washington Times report, Sheely was sent back to practice despite showing signs of a concussion. The article said the NCAA never investigated the incident.
In a statement, Sanchez said:
“Something is clearly wrong when a player like Mr. Sheely is allowed to return to the playing field despite suffering a head injury. It is time for the NCAA to review its concussion policy and take stronger measures to protect the safety of its students.”
Sanchez wants to know what specific actions the NCAA is taking to protect collegiate football players and other college athletes.
“My hope is that the NCAA will further focus on head injuries and develop safety plans that encompass all sports, not just football.”
The NCAA needs to be held accountable. Their concussion policy is a sad joke. It may have cost Derek Sheely his life.
Consider this example of how ineffective the current NCAA policy is: A 2010 survey of NCAA trainers revealed that over 50% of NCAA schools did not require athletes who suffer a concussion to see a physician before returning to play.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
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Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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