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updated: 5/6/2014 5:01 PM

Lawmakers keep pushing concussion safeguards

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  • Dan Kotowski

      Dan Kotowski

 
By Zachary White
zwhite@dailyherald.com

SPRINGFIELD -- A push to create an online certification program to teach high school sports coaches about concussions took another step forward Tuesday when it was approved by an Illinois Senate committee.

State Sen. Dan Kotowski, a Park Ridge Democrat, said the certification program would decrease the likelihood of student athletes getting concussions as well as avoid recurring hits that might not cause concussions but can cause brain damage.

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The plan was approved by the committee by an 11-0 vote, sending it to the full Senate.

Football, in particular, has seen increased scrutiny nationwide as retired NFL players come forward to tell their stories of memory loss and other brain injuries.

The plan, which has already passed out of the House, would require the Illinois High School Association to create a concussion certification for high school coaches of all sports.

To move the plan along, Kotowski pointed out that the proposal is backed by the Chicago Bears.

"(That) is no small task to get their support on a measure like this," Kotowski said.

However, the plan has met with some objections from lawmakers who believe the state doesn't need to tell coaches how to keep their players safe.

The proposal comes after a plan to limit tackling in football practice stalled last year.

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