<PrepsNow>

Choose a blog

About this blog

Tim Stevens, J. Mike Blake, Clay Best, Aaron Moody, and Elliott Warnock follow all the news for high school athletes from Wake, Orange, Durham, Chatham and Johnston Counties. 

E-mail: Tim | J. Mike | Clay | Aaron | Elliott

NCHSAA committee told to get licensed trainers in every high school or drop football

Bookmark and Share

The Sports Medicine Committee of the N.C. High School Athletic Association was told Thursday morning to recommend that every secondary school in the state have a licensed athletic trainer or recommend that football, boys and girls lacrosse, boys and girls soccer and wrestling be dropped.

Dr. Kevin Guskiewicz, the chairman of the Department of Exercise and Sports Science at the University of North Carolina and a national leader in concussion research, said eliminating sports would be a dramatic step, but said if school systems say they cannot afford full-time licensed athletic trainers that the system should drop those sports and save the money until they can.

Guskiewicz began his remarks by saying how difficult concussions, or traumatic brain injuries are to diagnoses.

"The key is to have a person there who is trained to recognize the symptoms and to take the right actions," he said. "Nothing can replace having the right person there."

The NCHSAA Sports Medicine Committee usually mets in March, but the group meet earlier this fall in the wake of three football-related deaths in North Carolina.

Guskiewicz was asked to make recommendations to the committee. The Sports Medicine Committee is expected to make recommendations to the full NCHSAA board in December. Guskiewicz has agreed to come and make a presentation to the full board.

Guskiewicz said he had not had time to develop his recommendations fully, but he gave the committee an outline that included a push by the NCHSAA to the North Carolina General Assembly to mandate and fund that at least one licensed athletic trainer be at each secondary school.

He said the athletic trainer should be a full-time trainer and not a teacher who adds training duties. One trainer may have to cover up to 26 athletic teams per year.

The cost of having a full-time athletic trainer at each school was estimated to be about $18 million per year, if trainers were paid $40,000 per year.

"This is a public health issue," Guskiewicz said. "We need to say the safety and health of our high school athletes is a priority."

Guskiewicz said that if a school has a full-time athletic trainer, the school would receive, at no cost, accessment tools to help evaluate concussions. Athletes would have baseline tests before the season so that trainers could have a baseline to judge trainers.

He also recommended that a group of 10 to 12 experts on brain injuries throughout the state be assembled to be a resource to licensed athletic trainers.

Comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Apples and Oranges

What we have is an unfair comparison between two professions that are overwhelmingly underappreciated and underpaid. Both are of equal importance on many levels. When we sit and speak of the need for one over the other or whether you do more work than me, we are all missing the point. The bottom line is this: teachers and athletic trainers are both service providers. The people whom we serve should be the priority. The last I checked, the article we have all blogged about is discussing the need for a service provider, in this case the atheltic trainer in the secondary school setting. Sounds to me like some have forgotten that and turned this into a forum for venting their frustrations over their own jobs. Lets all get past our indifferences and support whats right for the student-athletes.

ATCs deserve salary. Teachers deserve more money as well

A 40,000 salary is not an insult to the teaching profession. My understanding is that teachers salaries in NC is some of the lowest in the country, and that is unacceptable. Teachers deserve to be paid a fair salary, as do certified athletic trainers. ATCs should not be required to do 2 jobs. The long hours, weekends, and odd hours that the athletic trainer is required to put in more than justifies that salary. The bottom line is that high school sport safety is a public health issue that needs to be dealt with immediately, because many high school childrien will not be recieve basic medical attention properly, and dangerous unlicensed, unqualifed people will be allowed to work as "1st responders" at high schools in NC.

Athletic Trainers

I coached in N.C. for 35 years and now I'm coaching in S.C. 40 years total. A trainer (certified) is one of if not the most important position in an athletic dept. Horry county S.C. has a certified trainer in all of the nine high schools and in some there is an asst. trainer, also certified. Some of these trainers teach and some don't. The ones that teach also gets a supplement for training. The ones that don't teach get a teachers salary, no supplement. They come to work around 11:00 A.M. and stay 'til all practices are over. They have a pretty good deal. Colleges have to start giving teacher certification in an athletic training major, then they could all teach.

thank you!

Thank you for supporting athletic trainers!  There is a way for ATCs to get licensure for teaching in different subject areas, however when that is done they are working two full-time jobs with one salary... not fair!  And a lot of work... I know this because I used to do it.  Granted, having an ATC having double duty is better than not having one at all.  More schools would get ATCs interest by just having to worry about one job.

WHO PAYS FOR ALL THESE TRAINERS???? NCHSAA?....

Another unfunded mandate?!?!? Ridiculous. the NCHSAA has been gouging high schools for years to the tune of millions of dollars, paying their director a crazy excessive salary, giving crumbs back to the member schools. IF the NCHSAA is going to "command" this be done- then the NCHSAA should PAY FOR THE TRAINERS.

Funding

The state needs to come up with the money somehow....  can you really put a price tag on a child's life?  Anyone's life?  I think parents, coaches, athletes, refs, etc would/should feel a lot better knowing that trained healthcare professionals are at their disposal.

 Those who don't know what athletic trainers do and what education they get to become a professional should go to www.nata.org

Athletic Trainers

Athletic trainers are medical professionals, many of whom hold master's degrees. Athletic trainers are not trying to insult teachers, as they are very important part of society! Athletic trainers spend their time communicating with parents, multiple physicians of varying specialties, rehabilitating injuries, evaluating injuries, cleaning wounds, communicating with coaches, preventing injuries (there are multiple ways they do this), paperwork documenting just about everything that happens with EACH athlete, and multiple other things. Being an athletic trainer is a full-time job. Many times they are dealing with over 15-20 sports at each school. That can add up to 300 athletes that ONE person has to care for all at one time directly or indirectly. No, teachers don't get paid enough; however, is a child's life worth putting a value on? 

Athletic Trainers

Athletic trainers are medical professionals, many of whom hold master's degrees. Athletic trainers are not trying to insult teachers, as they are very important part of society! Athletic trainers spend their time communicating with parents, multiple physicians of varying specialties, rehabilitating injuries, evaluating injuries, cleaning wounds, communicating with coaches, preventing injuries (there are multiple ways they do this), paperwork documenting just about everything that happens with EACH athlete, and multiple other things. Being an athletic trainer is a full-time job. Many times they are dealing with over 15-20 sports at each school. That can add up to 300 athletes that ONE person has to care for all at one time directly or indirectly. No, teachers don't get paid enough; however, is a child's life worth putting a value on? 

Athletic Trainers

The first thing to remember is respect for all professions.

While the entry level degree for an athletic trainer is at the bachelors degree level, most (70% plus) have a Master's degree, must have national board certification and a state license. Teaching is very important, but if you make a mistake, a child fails a test or has to go to a JC before going to university. A shame for that child. If I (or the unlicensed minimally trained people doing the job now in many locations) makes a mistake, a child may die. Is that worth $40,000 per year? Do you pay malpractice insurance out of your salary? How much CE is required? We must do 25 contact hours per year.

I am not saying one profession is more important than any other, but when it comes to our children's health and well being, can we afford to skimp?

I think not.

Athletic Trainers

I am a high school teacher with 9 years experience, and I just now am making $ 46,000...this is with my Master's Degree and National Board Certification. Hearing that you want to start off athletic trainers at 40k is insulting to this teaching professional.

I am an Athletic Trainer /

I am an Athletic Trainer / Teacher in a High school with 14years experience, and yes I do walk in your shoes.  I suggest you do your homework before you blast what you obviously know nothing about.  First of all let's compare education shall we.  You majored in education and became a teacher.  I double majored in education and athletic training, with a minor in science and became one of the few teacher / athletic trainers in the state.  I'd love to compare hours with you if that's what you are implying because we see everyone else leave everyday from July - June. Yes July, that month other teachers have off unless you are a coach or Athletic Trainer.  The Teacher/athletic trainers hours compare to an administrator or the athletic director, who in many cases does not teach.

To be called an Athletic Trainer in the state of North Carolina, you must be Nationally Certified by the NATA and obtain a License from our state (ATC,LAT).  NATA = National Boards.  The National Board Certification process for teachers is easier than the National Athletic Trainer's Association Certification Exam.  Any certified teacher can attempt to obtain National Boards.  Not everyone can take the NATABOC Exam.  The NATABOC Exam is similar to the BAR for Lawyers. 

The State should fund the position the same way they fund school nurses.  This will help LEA's that are currently are forced to choose between a teacher and an athletic trainer.  The Athletic Trainer's salary should start at the same as a National Board Certified Teacher with 1year experience because we are nationally certified.  Athletic Trainers should begin their day at 11:00am and stay until the last athlete leaves which by the way is well after 10:00pm on any given Friday night.

I would suggest that you

I would suggest that you check out what it takes to be a licensed certified athletic trainer.   What you said is an insult.

Cars View All
Find a Car
Go
Jobs View All
Find a Job
Go
Homes View All
Find a Home
Go

Want to post a comment?

In order to join the conversation, you must be a member of newsobserver.com. Click here to register or to log in.

About the blogger

Tim has covered high school sports for more than 40 years. He is the only active newspaper reporter in the National High School Sports Hall of Fame and is a member of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame. He was the co-author of the original NCHSAA record book. When he not writing about boys and girls, he often is at church or in a theater. Email Tim.
Advertisements