Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mo. Senate committee dives head-first into concussion legislation

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (MISSOURI DIGITAL NEWS) - The man who saved Super Bowl 34 for the St. Louis Rams urged Missouri lawmakers Tuesday to protect young football players from concussions.

Mike Jones says many athletes come back before they're ready.

"A lot of times young people are out there, they might have an injury and they might want to go back out there or their parents may not understand the significance of their injuries," Jones said. "We need this bill right here to help them support what they are doing and and understand exactly what's out there."

Jones was one of dozens to testify on the bill.

The bill protects athletes by creating a waiting time after suffering a head injury and requiring a physician to approve the athlete's return to play.

Opponents have concerns about enforcement and liability issues.

St Louis County's Democratic Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal says she thinks individual school districts should determine the rules for athletes and the legislation opens up schools to lawsuits.

"As a schoolboard member in my other capacity I see potential for liability to go back to the school district and I am not too sure if we want our insurance rates to go continuously up," she said.

A committee vote may on it as soon as today.

Emily Kissee, Missouri Digital News


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