The Big Ten Conference was in the spotlight for concussions this football season, and the league has decided to take some action.
The Big Ten announced Monday the adoption of some new concussion protocols that include penalties for non-compliance.
According to a release from the conference, the protocols will move from best practices and minimum requirements to regulatory standards by the conference.
The new policy also established that an independent athletic trainer be in the replay booth with their own monitor and the ability to contact officials on the field.
The protocols also include reporting requirements, disciplinary action for non-compliance and a higher level of accountability for conference member institutions, although the statement did not get into specifics.
In September, Michigan quarterback Shane Morris remained in a game despite suffering a concussion after a massive hit.
Last week, Ohio State’s Kosta Karageorge was found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound after complaining to his mother about concussions.
Ramogi Huma, president of the National College Players Association, described the Big Ten’s actions as “very positive steps.”
“It highlights the fact the conferences do not have to wait on the NCAA to act, and they should because these are life and death issues,” Huma said. “I think it’s important to realize this is not happening in a vacuum. I think if any conference would act it would be the Big Ten, where you had Northwestern football players sign union cards and win an NLRB decision with concussion reform as a part part of their goals.”
Last week, the SEC proposed as part of NCAA autonomy for the five major conferences the establishment of a Concussion Safety Protocol Committee. The committee would examine and approve each school’s concussion procedures and protocols.