Luccio proposes bill limiting full contact practices
If your son plays football in high school, one lawmaker is proposing changes that would make it safer.
State Representative Eddie Luccio III has filed a bill in Austin (HB 887) that would limit contact in practice and deal with concussions. His original idea was to limit it to once a week, but he told KTRH he's willing to back off of that after speaking with coaches last weekend.
“What they asked if I would consider, which I think is a great idea, is a time frame. So let’s say an hour, and the coach at his discretion can divide that hour up Monday through Thursday,” Luccio said.
Luccio says there is scientific proof that link concussions to mental health problems later in life. He says it’s time lawmakers do something about it.
“If we don’t make a standard, we are running the risk of having long term detrimental effects on players. And I think that ultimately our responsibility is to the health and safety of the kids playing the game,” Luccio explained.
Whether it's once a week or an hour a week, some coaches, like Joe Willis of Cedar Park High School in Cedar Park, Texas, are not sure he likes what he's hearing.
“I think it’s a mistake. I think it’s a different situation than what professional athletes and college athletes are in. When you are talking about limiting contact you are talking about limiting teaching opportunities as well,” Willis said.
Willis says practice is the only way to make sure kids learn the right way to tackle, and protect themselves.
“The whole trick to practicing effectively is putting kids in those situations in a controlled environment. When you’re able to do that they become more experienced and better equipped to handle those situations on the field,” Willis explained.
Luccio says he's not doing anything radical, and that 19 other states have filed bills that would do the same thing Luccio is trying to do.