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TCU team physician: New concussion protocol 'a huge PR stunt'

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TCU team physician Dr. Michele Kirk said the Big 12 Conference's new concussion policy is "a huge PR stunt" that will not lead to any changes on the field,'s Abigail Massey reports.

Last week, the Big 12 announced its members' athletic trainers, physicians and medical support staffs worked together to develop the policy. Trainers will have the ability to hold out players from returning to a game, and each school will need to have its own concussion protocol.

Kirk said the latest announcement was done for publicity and not to protect the student-athletes. She cited a lack of specifics as a weakness in the policy.

“That’s one of our issues with the policy currently is it doesn’t give a lot of teeth to anything,” Kirk said. “It’s a huge PR stunt in our opinion and it doesn’t give a lot of teeth to anything, because nobody’s going to be using the same equipment to measure so we feel like that puts us at risk.”

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Senior associate athletics director for compliance and student services Gretchen Bouton said TCU wanted to put more time into developing the policy before it was put to a vote.

“You don’t want to vote against concussion legislation, because it looks like you’re against concussion management and that’s not what it is,” Bouton said. “We wanted to table it, and we wanted a committee to re-evaluate what the legislation was and propose something that was meaningful, not just PR, that had teeth and was legal.”

When the Big 12 revealed the policy earlier this month, commissioner Bob Bowlsby said it goes beyond the minimum required by the NCAA.

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