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updated: 5/22/2014 7:51 PM

Coaches might have to take concussion course

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  • Lawmakers sent Gov. Pat Quinn a plan to have high school sports coaches take concussion training.

      Lawmakers sent Gov. Pat Quinn a plan to have high school sports coaches take concussion training.
    Daily Herald file photo

 
By Zachary White
zwhite@dailyherald.com

SPRINGFIELD -- High school coaches of all sports would have to take an online class about the danger of concussions if Gov. Pat Quinn gives his approval in the coming months.

State Sen. Dan Kotowski, a Park Ridge Democrat, won approval for the proposal in the Illinois Senate Thursday and said the certification program would decrease the likelihood of student athletes getting concussions as well as help avoid recurring hits that can cause brain damage.

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"It's going to provide a good basis to make sure that people are educated about this and trained to be able to detect if someone has a concussion or not," Kotowski said.

In particular, football has seen increased scrutiny nationwide as former NFL players come forward to tell their stories of memory loss and other brain injuries. Studies have also shown that many student athletes do not even know when they have suffered concussions.

The plan, which was approved by a 52-0 vote, would require the Illinois High School Association to create an online concussion certification program for high school coaches.

Coaches would be required to be certified under the concussion program every two years. They would also need to show a video portion of the program to students each year.

However, the plan had been met with some objections from lawmakers in the House who believed 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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