New Jersey measure outlines school response to concussion

    With governor’s signature, legislation will require schools to keep players suspected of having a concussion out of the game.

    The New Jersey Assembly gave final legislative approval to a bill implementing a comprehensive concussion-prevention program for student athletes.

    If signed into law by Governor Chris Christie, the new law would require schools to develop written policies and safety standards to prevent and treat sports-related concussions. An athlete suspected of having suffered a concussion would be removed from a game or practice. He or she could not return without written clearance from a doctor.

    “It’s a very apropos bill in these times when you have the NFL saying ‘Hey guys, watch it.’ These shots are dangerous to players,” said Senator Dick Codey, the bill’s primary sponsor. “And, of course, you have so many previous NFL players, college players now, with memory problems, brain issues.”

    Codey, who has experience coaching, said he has often encountered the issue on te playing field.

    “It happens all the time in high school. Kids I’ve coached. When they’re telling me they’ve gotten hit in the head, I’m tell them, ‘Listen, you’re not going back in.’

    “The player, for the most part, wants to go back in the game and show machoism. No, not with me. That doesn’t work,” said Codey.

    Codey said he’ll also urge the Interscholastic Athletic Association to suspend athletes who make more than one flagrant hit on another player.

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