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NCAA attempts to control brain injuries

College football players have always been exposed to a high risk of traumatic brain injury, but the NCAA is now imposing standards that it hopes will lower that risk. The organization is focusing on brain injury prevention by tweaking rules in college football play in order to keep players safer.

The NCAA's new Chief Medical Officer has made brain injury prevention a priority. Last year's change in kickoff rules has already resulted in a 50 percent reduction in concussion injuries. Players are now kicking off five yards closer and touchbacks are set back five yards. This simple rule change has had a big impact on the reduction of head injuries. Another rule change is that players who lose their helmets must sit out the next play--a move that has dramatically decreased the rate of helmet loss.

The NCAA has never had a Chief Medical Officer before, but the organization decided that it was time to take safety seriously and to appoint a professional to oversee these types of rule changes. Part of the CMO's job is to analyze player behavior and suggest changes to rules that could change the incident of serious injuries.

A player who has been injured in play may have grounds to recover damages from the team or the NCAA, depending on the circumstances of the accident. A personal injury attorney may be able to help a football player who has been injured in an accident on the field. Those who have suffered traumatic brain injuries may be entitled to payment of medical expenses, loss of potential future income and other compensation.

Source: UT San Diego, "NCAA works to prevent brain injuries", Stefanie Loh, April 28, 2013

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