Illinois announced Wednesday that it is adding a medical professional in its press box during football games whose job will be to spot potential injuries.
The person will use his or her view of the entire field to provide support for the athletic training and medical staff on the sideline. He or she will also have access to the television video feed and will have direct communication with the sideline staff.
"We feel the addition of a qualified spotter from the press box gives us another set of educated eyes to watch for any injuries that might not be so easily seen from the sidelines," said Illinois director of athletics Mike Thomas.
Player safety has been a much-talked about issue in college football this season. Michigan received criticism for its handling of quarterback Shane Morris, who sustained a "probable, mild concussion" during a recent game but was not immediately pulled and was later re-inserted for a play. Coach Brady Hoke and the team medical staff later claimed they did not see any helmet-to-helmet contact and therefore only treated Morris for an ankle injury.
After the Morris concussion, the Wolverines also said they would add a medical professional in either the press box or video booth during games as well as look into its sideline communication process.
- Molly Geary