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Proposed bill suspends coaches in concussion cases

With concussions and head injuries from sports and the troubling aftereffects being prominently in the news, Maryland has responded with a proposed law to protect high school athletes from harm. As WTOP reports, under the current laws, young athletes who have a possible head injury or concussion must not be able to play until they have been examined and cleared with a note from a doctor. The proposed bill would give the authority to suspend a high school coach who does not follow the law and knowingly allows a player with a suspected concussion back in a game.

If the bill becomes law, a school superintendent can propose suspension, and the county school board will have the authority to suspend the coach at issue. A first infraction would lead to missing the rest of the season, and a second violation would suspend the coach for the remainder of the current season and the one that followed. A coach would be banned from all coaching if a third violation occurred.

This bill comes on the heels of reporting from Bethesda Magazine, which states that high school football participation has dropped 8.5 percent across the state of Maryland in the past 10 years. This decrease is larger than the national average, and it is believed that the participation numbers have fallen in response to worries about the long-term effects of concussions and head injuries. Experts believe parents are concerned after doctors have found verification that concussions can lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which affects the brain.

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