Former Packer Tauscher Backing Concussion Bill

Longtime Green Bay Packer offensive lineman Mark Tauscher is throwing his support behind a bill in the state Legislature designed to reduce youth concussions.

Tauscher on Wednesday joined doctors, a lobbyist for the National Football League, the head of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association and others in support of the bill.

The measure has passed the Assembly but stalled in the Senate.

As a Wisconsin athlete for many years, Tauscher said he knows something about injuries.

“You need to have someone kind of say, ‘You know what, you’re not there yet.’ Because the nature of an athlete is get back out there, just get back out there, and now you have independent people saying you’re not there,” Tauscher said.

Tauscher said he is speaking out on behalf of young athletes like senior Brock Rosenkranz of Richland Center.

“All of my involvement in sports, something I loved doing, came to an abrupt stop,” Rosenkranz said.

Rosenkranz suffered seven concussions in three years from basketball and football, benching him for good and leaving him with lasting consequences.

“There were periods of time where I appeared functional normally, but then when night rolled around, I couldn’t even remember what I did that day,” Rosenkranz said.

The proposal would require that young athletes who suffer what appears to be a concussion would have to be immediately removed from the activity and not be allowed to return until examined by a health care provider and given written clearance.

“I think there were times where Brock maybe didn’t come in to seek medical attention and went back too soon,” said Dr. David Bernhardt, of the University of Wisconsin Division of Sports Medicine.

Bill sponsor Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Falls, called on the public to contact their senator to urge passage. She said some Republicans are opposed to placing mandates on schools and want to make compliance voluntary.

“We don’t want to be a nanny state and tell everyone what to eat and drink and exactly what you have to do every minute of your life. No, we don’t want to be; but we think when it comes to safety of children, we should have a protocol,” Darling said.

In a statement Wednesday, Sen. Pam Galloway, chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Public Health, said she believes modifications need to be made to the bill to find a solution that is not a “one-size-fits-all approach.”

Darling said she and supporters are hopeful they can get the bill through this legislative session.