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NCAA Appoints First Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Brian Hainline, the chief medical officer of the United States Tennis Association (USTA), has been named the first chief medical officer of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, according to an announcement posted on the NCAA's website.

Hainline will begin his position with the NCAA in January 2013, NCAA President Mark Emmert said.

While the move isn't certain to directly affect K-12 students, any student-athlete who plans on competing athletically in college should pay heed to Hainline's appointment.

"This is an extraordinary opportunity to emphasize that our first and foremost obligation is to student-athletes," Hainline said in the announcement posted this week. "I see my position as being devoted to doing everything possible to strengthen the health, safety, and well-being of all student-athletes."

One of Hainline's first tasks will be to create a Center of Excellence that will serve as the NCAA's national safety resource for physicians and athletic trainers, according to the NCAA's release. He will also be tasked with coordinating with the NCAA's Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports, while managing all student-athlete health and safety initiatives that come from the organization.

"The NCAA was founded on the commitment to protect and enhance the health and well-being of student-athletes, and Dr. Hainline will elevate that commitment for the Association," Emmert said.

When he's not busy with the NCAA, Hainline serves as the chief of neurology and integrative pain medicine at the Lake Success, N.Y.-based ProHEALTH Care Associates. He's also a clinical associate professor of neurology at New York University School of Medicine and will continue in these roles even after coming aboard the NCAA in January.

Hainline has some experience as an NCAA student-athlete, too. While attending college at the University of Notre Dame, he played on the school's tennis team. By his senior year, he had become the team's No. 1 singles and doubles player, according to the NCAA's release.

Given the onslaught of research about sports-related concussions, Hairline should have plenty to keep himself busy with over the next few years.

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