As a part of President Barack Obama’s youth safety sports summit, which is taking place this week, the NCAA and the Department of Defense announced that they will launch a $30 million concussion database in efforts to “enhance the safety of student-athletes.”
The NCAA and the Department of Defense are calling the initiative the “most comprehensive study of concussion and head impact exposure ever conducted.”
Additionally, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Solomon, the NFL will chip in $25 million to the project as a part of ongoing efforts to better understand concussions and how to best treat them.
“As scientists search for new research about head injuries, the NCAA and Department of Defense’s database will attempt to comprehensively track the natural histories of concussions.”
Scientists continue to study the link between head injuries in sport and long-term brain damage, and this database can help provide larger sample sizes to achieve more accurate data. The database is set to begin with ten schools and the “entire student bodies” of the service academies.
The NCAA and The White House estimate that 37,000 male and female student-athletes will participate over the course of the three year study. Each participant will receive a preseason evaluation and will be continually evaluated as their season progresses.
“NCAA schools have placed a priority on improved concussion management, but we still have many unanswered questions in this area,” said NCAA President Mark Emmert in a release. “We believe in the incredible potential of this research. Student-athletes will be first to benefit from this effort, but it also will help to more accurately diagnose, treat and prevent concussions among service men and women, youth sports participants and the broader public.”
The entire program will be led by researchers at Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin
The NCAA is currently conducting ongoing settlement talks with plaintiffs who are suing over how the NCAA handled concussions in the past.
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