Legal Issues In College Sports Argumentative Essay Sample
The issue of sports related inures with long term side effects especially concussions has attracted a lot of attention as several of former NBL stars were diagnosed with CTE and committed suicides due to their sufferings. Recently, a member of Ohio State University college football team Kosta Karageorge, 22, apparently committed suicide by self-inflicted gunshots. He had texted his mother of his continual state of confusion as a result of the several concussions he had experienced while being on the field.
Even though regulations have been announced for minimizing head injuries however stats show that the reported head injuries or concussions by players in different colleges almost doubled from 23 head injuries in a season to 42 reported cases by 2010.
This paper will discuss the current scenario of concussions in college football and potential risks it can cause to young students. The paper will also address the steps taken by sports regulatory authorities to minimize or overcome the injuries to players.
Rate of Concussions in College Football
A study shows that sports related injuries are the second leading cause of brain injuries among 15-24 years of age after car crashes. The following figure(figure 1) shows that among other sports football players have the biggest threat of concussions not only during the games but also the practice sessions. Considering the fact that almost 60% male students are a part of their school teams as early as 6 years of age, implies to the potential risk of unknowingly experiencing a concussion during a game.
1 Concussions in Sports, http://www.saferyouthsports.org/
Sports are second only to motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of traumatic brain injury among people aged 15 to 24 years.
One of the major issues related to concussions in college sports was due to lack of awareness of the particular sports injuries. Research stats show that 50% players of high school and college didn’t report it to the coaches and continued playing the game even after they experience concussion. This not only increases a potential long term effect on their health but also makes them prone to concussions due to the culture of resistance against injuries.
Role Of NCAA
As the rate of concussions is on rise, NCAA has been attacked with several macro lawsuits pertaining to the concussion litigations among other sports related cases. The legal expense for NCAA has rose up to $9.456.572 until 2011-12 as it is faced with taking responsibilities for long-term health risks for the young athletes of high school or college.
While other litigations relating to salaries, publicity, antitrust or labor calws for players depend upon the age and level of players, concussion related lawsuits impose full responsibility of medical expenditure and protection of players, on NCAA and the school authorities.
With the immense pressure, NCAA put in place strict guidelines for sports program of schools. Colleges and universities in order to prevent and minimize the risk of severe injuries to the students.
Proper awareness and training for athletes regarding head injuries and concussions.
Legally binding players to sign a contract to report any concussion during game or practice and agree to be removed from the game for at least 1 day until medical supervision.
A descriptive concussion management plan that addresses preventive measures on fields and during games and proper medical support in case of a concussion.
A trained athletic trainer to monitor the players post-concussion.
Even though these rules have been stated yet there’s no vigilance to implement them throughout the country. Secondly the biggest hurdle to achieve these goals is the lack of awareness among the coaches about how negatively these injuries can cause to the professional and family life of these players. After the Ohio State tragedy, NCAA has announced that schools that fail to implement these procedures would face penalties.
Concussions can cause neurological and psychological damages such as dementia, Alzheimer, depression and suicidal characteristics in the patients. Several former star players were later diagnosed with CTE and showed these symptoms and committed suicides. Researchers believe that sports related concussions and CTE are very inter related and have ask for proper preventive measures for the player safety. While earlier it was believed to be an issue for the NBL only, the increasing number of cases reported from high school and college sports teams raised the concern as the average age of these players is only in the bracket of 10-20 years and have a long life ahead. NCAA has been criticized for their lack of initiatives and vigilance to prevent and protect the young players and several lawsuits were filed for concussion. NCAA has took some measures to control the growing number but the lack of interest from school authorities and lack of awareness among the coaches and trainers has not helped in decreasing or limiting the cases. Strong legal penalties and even disqualifying schools that do not adhere to these measures might pressurize them to take player safety seriously. The limelight, bright sports career and multibillion dollar contracts overshadow the long term health and post career life of these players.
Mullen, L. (2014, June 23). College sports' legal battleground. Retrieved from Sports Business: http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2014/06/23/In-Depth/Overview.aspx
Nierenberg, C. (July 2012). College Football Players' Concussion Rates Double. WebMD Health New.
Safer Sports. (2014, March 24). More than 50% of high school athletes with concussions play despite their symptoms. Retrieved from Safer Sports: http://www.saferyouthsports.org/
Sherwell, P. (Dec 2014). Missing college footballer's apparent suicide puts focus on dangers of sports concussions. New York: The Telegraph.
Tanya Baytor, K. S. (2015, Januuary 21). CONCUSSIONS AND COLLEGE SPORTS: TIME FOR THE NCAA TO STEP UP TO THE PLATE. Retrieved from O'Neill Institute: http://www.oneillinstituteblog.org/concussions-college-sports-time-ncaa-step-plate/
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