The SEC and Big Ten will have independent, conference-appointed certified trainers in replay booths to focus on head and neck trauma. That person will have access to all of the views of the replay officials.
SEC coordinator of officials Steve Shaw said his league didn’t single out a play or moment when it added a new layer of player safety as it relates to concussion. But the image of what occurred at Michigan last season had an influence.
“I think that’s a great example of when a player is stumbling around, when he took a hit above the shoulders on the previous play, that’s a player we need to get out and look at him,” Shaw said.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Kansas City Star
Michigan quarterback Shane Morris suffered a helmet-to-helmet blow in a game last September and stumbled after getting up. He remained in the game for another play.
“That heightened awareness,” Shaw said.
The medical observer will have the power to communicate to replay officials to have the game stopped and order a player from the game. Like a replay official, the observer can’t work games involving an alma mater or if a spouse or children are associated with the teams involved in the game.