NATA Endorses Three Consensus Statements Released by NCAA

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

DALLAS, February 14, 2017 – NATA supports and formally endorses inter-association consensus statements released by the NCAA focused on the management of sport-related concussions, independent medical care for collegiate student athletes and year-round football practice contact.


The NCAA Sports Science Institute collaborated with NATA and other leading medical and sports medicine organizations to develop these statements during the second Safety in College Football Summit held February 10-11, 2016. The final recommendations in these documents are the product of presentations and discussions on key items. Following the presentations and discussions, NATA along with the other organization representatives agreed on foundational statements that became the basis for the draft consensus papers that were reviewed further by relevant stakeholders and endorsing organizations.


“These statements are critical to the health and safety of student athletes today and reflect an integrated approach to educating coaches, school administrators and sports medicine staff on best practices,” said NATA President Scott Sailor, EdD, ATC. “Our goal is to reduce risk of injury and ensure immediate and appropriate care if treatment is required. NATA appreciates the opportunity to work collectively with the NCAA and all organizations involved that have dedicated their time and resources to ensure appropriate policies and procedures are in place.”


The first statement, “Concussion Diagnosis and Management Best Practices,” details best practices for athletics departments and sports medicine staff to use as they implement concussion diagnosis and management practices for all sports on their campuses. The best practices serve as an update from 2014 guidance and include additional recommendations for the management of return to activity following a concussion.


The second inter-association consensus statement endorsed by NATA, “Year-Round Football Practice Contact for College Student-Athletes Recommendations,” is for athletics departments and coaches to use as they plan their year-round football practice sessions. The document provides recommendations for preseason, in-season, postseason and spring practice.


NATA also contributed to and endorses “Independent Medical Care for College Student Athletes Best Practices,” a consensus statement developed to be consistent with the NCAA Autonomy legislation. The statement includes 10 best practices and asserts the following: “The unchallengeable, autonomous authority of primary athletics health care providers to determine medical management and return-to-play decisions becomes the linchpin for independent medical care of student athletes. Importantly, this linchpin in college sports is the team effort of both physicians and athletic trainers, with ultimate medical reporting authority being the team physician.”


As an endorsing organization for these consensus statements, NATA encourages its members in the collegiate setting to utilize these resources, which can be viewed in their entirety on the NCAA website: