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DESTIN, Fla. (AP) — The Southeastern Conference is taking steps to better identify concussions.

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The league passed a regulation Tuesday that requires an independent medical observer for conference and non-conference games beginning next season.

Each trained observer — hired by the conference, not the schools — will be stationed in the television replay booth and monitor both sidelines as well as on-field action. At least two schools used the setup last season, and now “we’ve broadened that to make it consistent across the league,” incoming SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said.

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Sankey said the observer will have the power to halt games and have potentially concussed players pulled and evaluated.

Outgoing commissioner Mike Slive called the change a “safety net.”

“Most of the time, the sideline picks up those kind of things,” Slive said. “But in case they don’t, this gives us a safety net. We’re doing everything we can to protect the health and safety of our students.”

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