UIL to Discuss New Concussion Rules

By: Cierra Putman
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Game day for football players means hard hits and the possible chance of a concussion.

That's why football fan and parent Kenny Copeland is glad the UIL is considering stricter concussion rules for high school athletes.

"You're always fearful for kids out on the field," Copeland said. "They can break a leg. (My son) he broke his wrist, he separated his shoulder. That's football."

Midland High Athletic Trainer Hondo Schneider is part of the Medical Advisory Committee pushing for that change.

"We're looking out for someone else's kids," Schneider said. "We're going step by step to do the right thing on a yearly basis and it's going to be a work in progress."

While many people think of concussion as a problem that only affects football players, Schneider says any athletes can get one including soccer, basketball, baseball, volleyball players and even golfers.

Under the current rules, a student with a concussion only has to sit out for 15 minutes if their symptoms went away.

But, if the new rule is approved, they'll stay on the bench for the rest of the game.

"The research has shown kids go back in and sustain a second impact or they can just exasperate the concussion or mild traumatic brain injury they already have," Schneider said.

While Copeland like's the stricter rules, not all parents think they're needed.

"I think they ought to leave it alone and let the kids play ball," Eric Chilson said.

Still, Schneider says it's better to be on the safe side when it comes to kids.

The UIL is set to review the proposed changes on Sunday and will make a decision on whether to implement them later in the week.