The start of another Atlantic Coast Conference college football season brought a new feature to the game medical observers for each team that will watch out for injuries on the field from the press box.
“We’re happy that the ACC would do this in a formal way to allow us to have an observer and have a spot for them to sit at all the games and have access to video and replay,” said Dr. David Martin, director of sports medicine for Wake Forest University.
Martin said this new approach will allow an athletic trainer to watch the game without having to worry about attending to injuries. The trainer will have access to the same replays that referees have so he can help diagnose problems and tell medical staff on the field where the point of impact was on a play in which is hurt.
Niles Fleet, an athletic trainer who works with athletes daily, will be up in the booth for the Demon Deacons. He believes having a bird’s eye view of the field for kickoffs and punts could help trainers get to athletes more quickly after injuries.
Martin said many players and coaches on the sidelines are already on alert for concussion symptoms, but they can be distracted by the game.
“Having another observer for us will be really helpful taking care of the student-athletes a little bit better,” said Martin.