Bulletin Board

By Staff

Training & Conditioning, 13.3, April 2003, http://www.momentummedia.com/articles/tc/tc1303/bboard.htm

Warning Labels for Ephedra
Every supplement containing ephedra will soon bear a warning label, the first such required of an herbal supplement by the Food and Drug Administration. The announcement came just days after the death of minor league pitcher Steve Bechler, which was attributed at least in part to the supplement.

The move had been in the works for some time—at least 100 deaths have been linked to the use of ephedra in the U.S. The supplement, which is used for weight loss and as an athletic performance booster, is already banned by the NCAA, the International Olympic Committee, and the NFL (though not by Major League Baseball, the NBA, nor the NHL).

Many people working with high school and college athletes hail the warning label as a positive move that will help convince young athletes of the dangers posed by the supplement. Others, hoping for an outright ban by the FDA, say the move doesn’t go far enough. While ephedra isn’t likely to be made illegal anytime soon, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson has said, “This is not the end of the story. [The FDA is] building the case for further regulatory action.”

NCAA ISS Complies With HIPAA
Just as the NCAA is gearing up to go on-line with its Injury Surveillance System (ISS), along comes the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which clamps down on the types of patient information that can be shared electronically. But according to NCAA legal counsel, schools will be able to participate in the ISS without running afoul of HIPAA regulations.

Of course there’s still FERPA to contend with. That’s the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, a federal law requiring student or parental consent before private educational or medical information can be disclosed. And that’s the bottom line—as long as athletic trainers and others working with injured athletes obtain consent to release information to other parties, they should be okay. In response, the NCAA is working to make available a consent form that member schools can use to provide information to the ISS that complies with both FERPA and HIPAA.

The Web-based version of the ISS promises several enhancements. It will streamline the way data is compiled, allowing member schools to enter student-athlete stats themselves rather than sending them to the NCAA for entry. The Web-based version will also be more accessible to a wide variety of people, while still protecting personal information. And it will expand the system’s capabilities to collect and analyze the injury data. The NCAA hopes to have the system up and running, with a consent form available, by this fall.

Jamie Carey Is Back In Game
Jamie Carey is once again making headlines. The basketball player gained notoriety for being sidelined at Stanford because of recurrent concussions, then surprised everyone by transferring to Texas, where she was accepted on the team.

Now she’s showing everyone that those concussions aren’t slowing her down anymore. Capping off a great season, Carey was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, helping Texas win its first Big 12 regular season and conference tournament titles.

At Stanford, Carey had been named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year in 2000 after setting the school record for 3-pointers in a single season with 81. But then she became plagued by the lasting effects of concussions that left her with chronic headaches, dizziness, and concentration problems. She ultimately sat out two years, and the Stanford physicians still wouldn’t clear her to play.

They did, however, recommend that she visit specialists in Austin, Texas, who were able to help. They worked with Carey through a series of mental exercises to regain full function and convinced the coaching and administrative staff at Texas that she was in no more danger of lasting traumatic brain injury than anyone else. So far, she’s proving them correct.

For more information on the decision to let Carey play at Texas, go to our Web site, www.athleticsearch.com, and type “Carey” in the search window.

Super-Slow Gets You Nowhere Fast
According to a recent study, super-slow resistance training yields no greater results than traditional methods. The study was conducted to test the notion that weight training movements performed very slowly burn more calories and yields greater results.

According to the authors, Avery Faigenbaum, EdD, CSCS, and Laurie Milliken, PhD, of the Department of Human Performance and Fitness at the University of Massachusetts-Boston and Wayne Westcott, PhD, fitness research director of the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Mass., the opposite is actually true. They tested seven males—all of whom had at least one year of resistance training experience—on exercises that included leg extension, bench press, biceps curl, leg curl, reverse curl, shoulder press, upright row, bent-over row, and squat.

Comparing a regimen of eight reps with a 10-second concentric phase and a five-second eccentric phase at 25 percent of 1RM to one consisting of the traditional two sets of eight reps at 65 percent of 1RM, the researchers found that the super-slow program scored significantly lower in total work and relative exercise intensity. The article appeared in Volume 17, No. 1 of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.