4. What is Being Done About Concussions?


The NCAA has developed a system for dealing with  and preventing concussions. This consists of guidelines that are separated into 3 different sections, Concussion management plan, Return to Activities, Return to play, and Return to Academics.

Concussion Management Plan

The concussion management plan is a plan developed by the colleges themselves that are made public. There are multiple guidelines all plans must follow:


All students and faculty must be educated in  the signs, symptoms of a concussion with proof that the students and faculty have undergone this education. This is an important part of the preventing concussions because if faculty and staff do not know enough about concussions, noticing athletes with concussions can be near impossible.

         Pre-participation assessment.

This is just a one-time baseline concussions assessment for all student-athletes.

        Recognition and Diagnosis of Concussion.

Any student that may have a concussion must immediately stop participating in their sports and cannot start again until they see a trainer. This is important because if any student has any symptoms of  a concussion it is very important to stop putting the student into any risk of further injury.

       Post-concussion management

When a concussion is diagnosed the student stops all activity and immediately is evaluated and monitored until he or she is able to participate again. If the student is participating at the time of injury a clinical evaluation must to preformed, and if the damage is serious enough must immediately be moved to to a hospital.

Return to Activity

Concussions are different than many of thing injuries because the time to full recovery is very unpredictable. Treatment for a concussion normally is rest, but sometimes active, targeted treatment will be better for the student.This could be a solution if the student has prolonged symptoms. Scenarios that have the student participate in active treatment for the concussion is known as return to activity. The data for concussions is so small that the use of return to activity to treat concussions isn’t guaranteed to work for every student.


Once a student has recovered, a system of stepwise is used to slowly used to help the student return to play. If there are no symptoms during one of the steps, the student moves to the next step. if symptoms appear the student moves to the last step he/she was on.


Stepwise progression

  1. Light exercise such as walking.  No resistance training.
  2. Sport activity with NO head impact.
  3. Non contact drills and resistance training.
  4. Unrestricted training
  5. Starting competitions again.

Return to Academics

This process runs along side return to play, but has less research done on it, however the guidelines are based on expert consensus.. These steps are based on the idea that there might not be energy available for cognitive exertion because of the concussion. Unlike return to play there are no definitive steps.

Stepwise progression

  1. When light cognitive work is difficult to the student they should stay at home.
  2. once there are no symptoms form light work, the student must return gradually to classes.


If a students symptoms last more than two weeks they might have to change their class schedule. When they last even longer they should have a neurological evaluation.

The success of the return to play processes is dependent on:

  • Recognition that concussions symptoms can vary from student to student.
  • Identify conditions that may impair recovery.
  • Find campus resources to help ensure the student receives his full rights during recovery.



Overall the NCAA has a more reactive system than a preventative system since prevention is mostly just from education. While the steps for actually dealing with a concussion are very extensive.