The NCAA actively participated in an inter-association task force on “Preventing Sudden Death in Collegiate Conditioning Sessions” and supports the continued multi-organizational efforts put forth to help protect student-athlete well-being. Additionally, the NCAA committee that oversees health and safety issues reviewed the recommendations two weeks ago and are evaluating ways to best support the initiatives outlined by the task force.
Based on these discussions and their evolving work over the past several years, the committee is recommending institutions designate a team physician; require sport coach first aid, CPR and AED certification; require professional certification for strength and conditioning coaches; and report catastrophic sport injuries.
The majority of the task force recommendations align with current NCAA rules and policies, which include the following:
• NCAA has implemented a number of athletic conditioning focused polices over the last decade including football preseason guidelines, mandatory medical exams for clearance to participate in summer workouts, mandatory strength and conditioning coach first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification requirements, and ongoing education on heat illness and sickle cell trait.
• DI and DII institutions are required to confirm sickle cell trait (SCT) status in student-athletes as part of their required medical examination. DIII is currently considering a similar policy.
• NCAA has published best practices for fall sports preseason periods and have guidelines in the sport medicine handbook on emergency care, preseason preparation, SCT, and heat illness prevention.
• NCAA recommends emergency action plans for each venue as a guideline for our members in our sports medicine handbook.