NCAA Concussion Study at Wilmington College


Wilmington College participates in an NCAA concussion study

Over the past decade, the prevalence of concussions in American football has sparked a conversation about player safety.  While the NFL has borne the brunt of the discussion, athletes from nearly every sport can suffer concussions. Soccer, rugby, lacrosse, basketball, and any other sport where there is a possibility of cranial impact.

In fact, this realization has prompted a large NCAA study on concussions in college athletes in all sports. At the center of this study is Wilmington College.  Researchers are seeking the answers to two big questions.

Wilmington College Concussion Study

Brian Dykhuizen, Head Athletic Trainer at Wilmington College, assesses a student after a hit.

 

  • How long should an athlete be kept out of a sport because he or she has had a concussion? Right now this can be up to a month in certain sports.  Is that too long?  Is it long enough?

 

  • Should rules of certain sports be changed to better protect some athletes? The NFL has changed tackling rules to reduce helmet impact, should colleges alter rules for lacrosse, basketball, or soccer?

 

The NCAA has invited 30 schools to participate in the study.  Wilmington College is a Division 3 school where 400 of its 1,100 students play sports.  The institution is a great reflection of D3, which is the largest division in the NCAA with over 450 schools.

The new Center for Sports Sciences and the history of athletic training at Wilmington College are also beneficial for this type of research.

Dr. Timothy Kremchek of Beacon Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, which has a location in the new Center for Sports Sciences at Wilmington College, weighed in on the study.  As a renowned sports medicine provider, he sees concussions all too frequently.

“Concussions are now a game changer,” Kremchek remarked, continuing by saying that society’s views on concussions are different now than they were ten years ago.  As athletes, coaches, and sports fans, we should anticipate another big change in the next ten years.

Since symptoms of head trauma differ from each other, the more data that is collected from this concussion study, the better treatments will become.  It is exciting to see Wilmington College contribute to a study that could have a positive impact on NCAA athletics.

To watch the feature on WCPO, please click here.