Illinois Bill Designed to Protect Teen Football Players Fumbles in Committee

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IRN/KMOX) — Do you have a preteen or teenage playing football in Illinois? State lawmakers are worry about them getting hurt on the gridiron, but not everyone is for a government-as-nanny-state.

An attempt to regulate the amount of tackling high school and youth football players can do during practice fumbled during an Illinois House committee hearing Wednesday.

The bill sponsor by State Rep. Carol Sente (D-Vernon Hills) pointed out, “At a time, many questioned whether telling people they had to wear seat belts, or that they shouldn’t smoke, were appropriate issues for the legislature, too Big Brother, and we shouldn’t tackle them, but the legislature did pass those laws due to corresponding health risks much like this, and today we consider that commonplace.

“(The bill) speaks to preventing young football athletes from permanent brain injury.”

State Rep. Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) praised Sente’s intentions but said, “These school districts, they can do it themselves, but we’re telling our folks what to do, when we’re not doing a good job here.”

The bill, in the wake of nationwide reports of men in their 40s and 50s suffering debilitating effects of concussions sustained during their playing days, would have limited tackling to two days a week during the season for high school football players and younger.

HB 1205 failed to pass the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Illinois Radio Network contributed to this report.)


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