ACC football games will include a medical observer

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GREENSBORO, N.C. ( – When Atlantic Coast Conference teams kick off their football seasons later this week, additional sets of safety-conscious eyes will watch intently from on high.

As announced by Commissioner John Swofford at the ACC Kickoff on July 20, the 2015 season will include assigned medical observers from each team at every game. Each observer will occupy a specified location in the press box to monitor any visual indicators of potential injury to a student-athlete from his or her team.

Medical observers will have communication access to their teams’ medical staffs on the sidelines. Upon a medical observer’s notification of a visual indicator of an injury, that sideline personnel shall act upon that information in accordance with their institution’s athletics medical plan.

“The team-specific medical observer will have the benefit of knowing the medical history of the players,” Swofford noted. “Each game that we play, there will be two people in the booth – one from each school – that will have the sole purpose of observing what’s taking place on the field that somebody on the sidelines might not be able to see.”

The ACC initiative was unanimously approved by the conference’s athletic directors. In recent years, ACC member schools have taken the lead in concussion research and other player safety points of concern.

“In the areas of health and safety, I can’t say enough about our institutions,” Swofford said. “As a league, and personally as a former player, we are supportive and an advocate for making the game of football as safe as it can possibly be.”

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