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Board of Governors endorses catastrophic injury guidelines

Group also rescinds policy that prohibited hosting championship competition in any state that allows single-game sports wagering

The NCAA’s top governing board has unanimously endorsed comprehensive recommendations for the prevention of catastrophic injury and death.

The recommendations are contained in a new Association-wide policy that provides a road map for schools across the country to effectively prevent injury in six areas. They are:

  • Sportsmanship.
  • Protective equipment.
  • Acclimatization and conditioning.
  • Emergency action plans.
  • Strength and conditioning personnel.
  • Education and training.

The Board of Governors’ approval establishes the recommendations as NCAA policy while also simultaneously creating a pathway to uniformity and consistency in the guidance provided to members.

Some recommendations call for immediate action by campuses, such as the reporting structure for strength and conditioning professionals. These recommendations have been written to maximize a school’s flexibility to satisfy the recommendation based on resources and other individual factors. The recommendations also may inform subsequent committees’ agendas.

The NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports has overseen a thorough process of membership and organizational review of this topic. As a result, the recommendations have been endorsed by 13 external scientific and medical organizations.

The recommendations’ genesis was the 2016 Safety in College Football Summit, which also led to interassociation recommendations for independent medical care, concussion diagnosis and management, and year-round football practice contact.

Sports wagering

The board also voted to rescind the NCAA Championships Policy Related to Sports Wagering, which prohibited hosting championship competitions in any state that allows single-game sports wagering. The decision follows the board’s temporary action last year to suspend the policy following the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize sports wagering.

The board also reinforced its support for federal legislative sports wagering standards. While the board stressed that an exemption of college sports in any federal or state legislation is desired, it emphasized that any proposed legislation should protect student-athlete well-being and the integrity of games.