Bobby Cox, 59, is going into his sixth year as the commissioner of the Indiana High School Athletic Association. IndyStar’s Kyle Neddenriep caught up with Cox this week – as the 2016-17 high school fall seasons begin – to discuss some of the key issues facing the IHSAA.
Question:The future of football is a hot topic as awareness has been raised over the seriousness of concussions and traumatic brain injuries. How do you assess the health of the high school game in Indiana?
Answer: What I would tell you is I think the high school game is safer than it’s ever been in its history. We have a heightened awareness. Schools are taking kids in and having baseline testing done. When they reflect concussive symptoms, they are taken out of the game and examined. Then they are brought back into the lab and given another test. They are establishing return to play protocols. I think that’s good for football. The equipment is better, the awareness is better, the technique is better, the education is better than it’s ever been. Our attendance is continuing to go up and we’re adding more teams. But having said that, we need to continue to do our diligence on these health and safety issues. As long as we do that, I think we’re in really good shape.