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Ivy League tackles concussions

Ivy League presidents approved recommendations made by a special committee tasked with the responsibility to reduce the number of concussions and subconcussive hits in football on Wednesday.

Limiting the number of full pad/contact practices, educating athletes on tackling techniques and recognizing signs and symptoms of concussions and long and short-term implications of repetitive brain trauma are among the recommendations that will be put in effect this season.

The committee was formed in 2010 to determine how the Ivy League could take a lead role in limiting concussive hits in football. Dartmouth president Jim Yong Kim and Cornell president David J. Skorton are the co-chairs.

"The presidents formed the committee because they were deeply concerned that concussions are a significant injury in football and wanted the Ivy League to take an active leadership role in developing steps and measures to limit concussions, first in football and then in other sports as appropriate," Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris said in a statement.

Will the Ivy League's positive intentions rub off on the rest of college football? The NFL, after years of what some would call neglect, has finally taken an active roll in dealing with concussions and its ramifications.

Nothing has been reported on what the rest of college football has done or will do, but it's almost certain that there will be some reaction to the Ivy League's announcement. The question is who will take the lead and how long it will take.

The following are some of the on-field changes that will take effect this season.

- Teams will be limited to two full-contact days per week. A 60 percent reduction from the NCAA limit.
- The number of allowable full-contact practices during the spring will be reduced by one, which will result in a 12 percent reduction from the current Ivy League limit.
- The number of days that pads can be work during both sessions of two-a-days during the preseason has been reduced to one.
- Game officials will continue to err on the side of caution, calling penalties if a helmet or head hit might have occurred.

Here's a link to the full report.

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