On Wednesday, Representative Four Price presented a Committee Substitute for HB 2038 (Price), relating to the prevention, treatment, and oversight of concussions affecting public school students participating in interscholastic athletics, to the House Committee on Public Health.
Price explained current law has protections in place for athletes that lose consciousness during activity but does not protect athletes who sustain a concussive injury and never lose consciousness. On top of requiring athletes be immediately removed from practice or competition upon sustaining a concussion, HB 2038 directs the creation of a concussion oversight team responsible for the establishment of return-to-play protocol based on peer-reviewed scientific evidence for the student’s return to activity. The bill also has an educational component aimed at educating parents and students on the symptoms and treatments of concussions, and has a continuing education requirement for coaches and licensed health professionals serving on the concussion oversight team.
Joe Browne, Special Advisor to National Football League (NFL) Commissioner, testified in favor of the bill saying, “I think that in the National Football League the culture is changing when it comes to concussions…people are becoming so sensitive to the issue now and that’s a good thing…we’re changing the culture in the NFL… and are advocating to change the culture for high school and junior high athletes.”
Additionally, the Texas State Athletic Trainers Association, physicians, licensed athletic trainers, school district athletic directors, professional and amateur athletes offered testimony in support of HB 2038. The testimony reflected wide spread support for the stronger protections for students from concussive injuries.