Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award

3-2017

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

College

College of Education

Department

Education

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Julie M. McCann, Ph.D.

Content Specialist

Corey McKenna, Ph.D.

Content Reader

Dan Shepherd, Ed.D.

Keywords

high school, football, head coach, concussion, Texas

Abstract

With new information regarding degenerative neurological problems, researchers linked Alzheimer’s disease with repeated head injuries such as a concussion. The new findings resulted in an outcry from the public, and the medical fraternity provided more information and safety for coaches and players. To this end, football regulations have been amended and player education, especially at the high school level, has increased. The purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore how medical data and media exposure on the subject of football-related concussions influence the perceptions and practices of Texas high school football coaches. The study was conducted at five school districts, and the participants included eight head football coaches in Texas. The methodology applied semi-structured interviews and direct observations for data collection. The data were analyzed using field notes and NVivo coding, which uncovered four themes that were used to substantiate the findings. The key findings from this study indicated a need for a continuation of increased concussion awareness. Also, findings from this study indicated media coverage and recent medical findings increased the coaches' awareness of the potential seriousness of concussions, and media coverage and recent medical findings influenced their coaching practices and attitude towards the sport. Concussed athletes were handled according to UIL protocol, which included talking to parents. The concussion protocol of the school eased the burden off the coaches and allowed them to focus on coaching the team.

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