QB Evan Murray’s death spurs safety reminder for NJ schools
The sudden death of Warren Hills Regional High School quarterback Evan Murray late last month has New Jersey’s lead athletic group reminding schools and staff of the safety regulations and protocols that should be in place.
Jack DuBois, assistant director of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, said Murray’s death served as an “unfortunate opportunity” for the group to reemphasize safety efforts that are already on the books.
“Safety in all our sports, especially football, is paramount,” DuBois said. “We’d like to think we’re on the cutting edge.”
According to DuBois, a special team comprised of former athletic directors will be making trips to member schools in order to make sure they’re adhering to a checklist of NJSIAA requirements and regulations.
“They’ll be auditing the schools,” he said. “This is a first-time project that will take off in a month or two.”
A number of significant safety measures are in place in the Garden State. One rule, which went into effect this football season, imposes a weekly 90-minute contact limit at practice.
Every school, meanwhile, is required to have an emergency medical procedure action plan for all athletic events, including practices. In addition, DuBois noted, all coaches are required to take a concussion awareness course each year.
Murray, 17, suffered from a lacerated spleen during a Sept. 25 football game. An autopsy later determined Murray had been playing with an enlarged spleen – the cause of which is not yet known. Teammates and spectators said Murray took quite a beating from the opposing team.
From conversations he had with medical professionals, DuBois said Murray’s high school had “everything in place” to handle the emergency, including an ambulance and an athletic trainer.