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    get your head in the game

    Oklahoma StAte InTramural Sports Adds Concussion policy as injuries remain prevalent issue for leagues


    Austin Dick locked onto his target, a foot-ball thrown over the middle and dropping toward him.The Oklahoma State

    management senior said the details are all secondhand because he has no memory of the event.As he moved up on

    the ball from his deep safety position, he didnt see the receiver or his teammate on a collision course with him. The lights went out


    All I remember is them hiking the ball, and then I remember waking up with four or five (EMTs) surround-ing me, and I had no idea what happened, Dick said. They were asking me if I knew what day it was, or where I was at, and I couldnt answer any of those questions.The game stopped

    when Dicks face smashed into his team-mates ear. The colli-sion knocked him to the ground as his concussed brain settled in his skull. When he came to, he said nothing was as it seemed.I laid there for a

    while, called my mom, Dick said. I was still really out of it not knowing what was going on. I remember looking over at my friend who I hit and his ear is gushing blood, and Im like, Howd

    you get hurt?Dick said he was able

    to walk to a car for a ride to the emergency room and recovered in just over a week. He said he returned to the field a month later.University of Tulsas

    director of athletic training said intramu-ral concussions are a genuine concern, namely with when play-ers can return to the field. Ron Walker, also a clinical professor at TU, said when testing for concussions, athletic trainers will use cog-nitive tests compared with predetermined base scores for a given player.If a player scores

    lower after a hit to the head or shows obvious signs of a concussion, he or she is pulled from competition. A player is cleared to return only when he or she achieves the same cognitive marks as before, Walker said. He said the cri-teria are important not only to show progress, but also to keep players in check.Waiting for a par-

    ticipant to self-report is like asking a drunk if they want another beer, Walker said.He said its the time

    immediately after a concussion when the risk is greatest for serious injury, often when someone has the common symptom of a headache.If someone sustains

    a second concussion while they still have that symptom, theyre at a significant risk for even a fatal injury; its called second-impact

    syndrome, Walker said. When theres no athletic trainer, its common sense recog-nition of that being a possibility.OSUs assistant

    director of recreational programs said the de-partment implemented a concussion policy in January, and two stu-dents have already gone through the protocol for

    OSU intramurals adds concussion policy, expert says its a step in the right direction

    c o v e r s t o r y intramurals

    s t e t s o n p a y n e

    n e ws e d i t o r


    suspected concussions.Jason Linsenmeyer

    said supervisors are trained to spot concus-sions and given spe-cific protocols for when players can return to playing sports or at-tending classes.If theres a suspected

    concussion based on these signs my supervi-sors have been trained

    Courtesy of Austin DickAustin Dick sits up on a hospital bed after his concussion in an intramural football game. All he heard about the collision was from others because he didnt remember anything.

    All I remember is them hiking the ball, and then I remember waking up with four or five (EMTs) surrounding me, and I had no idea what happened

    austin dickOSU management senior



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    c o v e r s t o r y intramurals

    on, theyre going to pull the individual out, Linsenmeyer said. Any of those individuals that are pulled out for a po-tential concussion have to go seek medical attention before theyll be allowed to play intramural or club sports again.Linsenmeyer said su-

    pervisors receive training on concussion protocols, and officials have a card listing signs and symp-toms of concussions on their person. But he also said those watching arent medical staff.Its just our staff as far

    as officials and supervi-sors; sometimes our graduate students go out there, but none of them are athletic trainers, none of them are any of the ad-vanced medical training certifications, Linsen-meyer said.Although tracking

    concussions is a good start for any intramural department, it depends on whos monitoring players, Walker said.

    He said although ref-erees or supervisors can act as monitors, theyre focused on the rules and the fair play of a game, not specifically any signs of a concussion. Ide-ally, an athletic trainer can observe participants because otherwise some less-obvious concussions might be missed.From an injury

    surveillance standpoint, yeah, its certainly go-ing to be hard to track, Walker said. When they have an incident and theres a report filed, I would think that if the reports reflected that participants have con-cussions, I would think those would only be the most severe cases, which would be in the minority.Linsenmeyer said be-

    cause the undergraduate athletic training program was moved to an OSU-Tulsa graduate program, there isnt a viable way to have medical staff observe.Theres really no av-

    enues here to get athletic

    trainers, Linsenmeyer said. Obviously, those are expensive. We have lots of events; we have 50 plus events that we offer every year.Trying to staff an ath-

    letic trainer or someone whos got advanced medi-cal certifications, that budget would go out the roof just for basketball, same thing for flag foot-ball. Trying to provide that would be a nightmare as far as budget concerns. We just dont have that available. Walker said even if

    officials monitor for con-cussions, they should be trained enough to provide the rising standard of care for intramural sports.Theres absolutely

    no reason for intramural departments across the country to not accept (concussion training) as a standard and require that for their intramural of-ficials and game manag-ers, Walker said.

    F o l l o w s t e t s o n : @ s t e t s o n _ _ P a y n e

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    graphic by sierra winrow

    okstate rec sports concussion recognition*

    symptoms reported by athlete symptoms observed headache nauseaorvomiting balanceproblemsof

    dizziness doubleorfuzzyvision sensitivitytolightornoise feeligsluggishordrowsy feelingfoggyorgroggy concentrationormemory

    problems confusion

    appearsdazedorstunned isconfusedaboutassignment forgetsplays unsureofgame,scoreor

    opponent movesclumsilyorhas

    slurredspeech answersquestionsslowly losesconciousness showsbehavioror

    personalitychanges cannotrecalleventspriorto




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    s p o r t s c ow b oy w r e st l i n g

    Its time for one last rodeo.A trio of Cowboys will wrestle

    in Gallagher-Iba Arena for the fi-nal time Friday night when North Carolina (12-4) comes to Still-water. Alex Dieringer and Eddie Klimara made their debuts in the 2012-13 season; Austin Marsden made his the season before. Each made their GIA debuts on dif-ferent dates, but theyll conclude their home wrestling career

    together on senior night.Coach John Smith has expe-

    rienced it before. There comes a time in every collegiate athletes career when he or she has to hang it up because of injury or depletion of eligibility. Thankfully, this time the reason is the latter.You get them right where you

    want them, and they leave you, Smith said. Thats the difference between business and coaching. Business they stay with you and coaching they leave you.The three seniors have appeared

    in a combined 73 matches this season, posting a 69-4 record.Marsden and Klimara have

    known each other since they were 9 years old.Having (Kilmara) come up here

    is just having another friend on the team like old times, Marsden said.

    Were just in shock it came by so fast. Its pretty special to share that moment with him, especially since weve known each other for a long time. Now were finishing our career together.Marsden came to the team in

    2011. After getting his redshirt pulled, he wrestled in 32 matches, winning 27.Klimara was an All-American

    last year, going 24-7. His victory Sunday against Stanford marked the 100th of his career. Dieringer is the most decorated