in town for free camps
Jim Harbaugh spoke publically about Pipkins's medical per the above story in the Detroit News. The coach clears the air on this, underscoring that it's natural for a player to not want to hear that their playing career is over, but Harbaugh's primary responsibility is the safety of his players. It's good to hear him address this directly.
Three concussions (not two), the torn knee ligament, and a neck issue. I have tremendous sympathy for Pipkins, but it does indeed sound like it's time for him to move on and take full advantage of his educational opportunity.
Angelique Chengelis put up an article this a.m. confirming that Jack Miller left the program due to burnout and to pursue other interests. We saw this explanation from Miller earlier this week, but ESPN posted a conflicting story saying that fear of concussions was the driving factor.
The main takeaway, for me at least, is that Angelique is about 20x more reliable than ESPN. the other takeaway is that it's very easy to pull for Miller here - he seems like an honest guy who has a level of self-awareness that's pretty impressive at his age. As in the earlier story, there's not a trace of bitterness in his words.
"Concussions were really not a factor in this decision. I know it makes for a good headline. ... The story has blown up into this whole thing, because there's not a lot going on in college football right now"
Thought this was a good little read about why a particular NFL player continues to play football, potentially risking a promising career in mathematics.
Regarding balancing playing vs. brain injury risk:
Naturally, I believe that I have a certain insight into this dilemma, due to my non-athletic pursuits. In particular, I have a Bachelor’s and Master’s in mathematics, all with a 4.0, and numerous published papers in major mathematical journals. I am a mathematical researcher in my spare time, continuing to do research in the areas of numerical linear algebra, multigrid methods, spectral graph theory and machine learning. I’m also an avid chess player, and I have aspirations of eventually being a titled player one day.
Saw this kicking around the Internetz yesterday, and finally decided to share. This is a sad tale of a former college football player struggling with mental illness and the aftereffects of a long time playing the sport we all love.
I am sharing this as I struggle myself as to whether to allow my son to play football. I didn't play myself until 8th grade and loved it all - even as a scrub walk-on in college. I would love for him to "follow in my footsteps" and share with him the experiences of the game I love.
However, more and more emerging evidence regarding CTE due to repeated head trauma has me on the fence as to whether to let him play.
This is why:
After graduation, Hoffman moved into his father’s house in Florida, jobless and without direction. He struggled to sleep. He complained of headaches and dizziness and of hearing loud noises like shotgun blasts inside his head and of seeing flashing lights
This is a former OFFENSIVE LINEMAN - not a running back, quarterback, or any other player seemingly susceptible to high speed collisions. He plays OL much as I did, and likely where my son would play since he "takes after his dad" physically.
Awareness is increasing, but this reminds me of my experiences:
Hoffman says he remembers having one (diagnosed) concussion in college but also details a time in high school when he threw up multiple times after a game. As we know, the concussion protocols being developed today weren't even a thought back in Hoffman's playing days
I remember getting crushed in the helmet on a pull to the right - helmet to helmet contact where I immediately went down. And the weird thing? I was on the ground and couldn't stop LAUGHING. World spinning, lights flashing, and I was laughing...I was loopy as h***. And guess what? I went in the next play.
Granted, that was a long time ago - but stories like those of Mr. Hoffman make me wonder if I'll ever let my son play.
TL;DR - concussions are bad m'kay?
In Football, Stigma of Concussion Creates Incentives to Hide It - March 2nd Article in Chronicle of Higher Ed
March 2, 2015 - The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Brad Wolverton
This is an interesting read on concussions featuring a lead interview of Jeff Kutcher - photo below, Associate Professor of Neurology and Director of Michigan Neurosport.
Courtesy of Jeffrey Kutcher
After football players at Virginia Tech take big hits during games, the university’s medical staff performs a series of concussion tests on the sidelines, says P. Gunnar Brolinson, the team’s head physician.But before evaluating for concussion, he says, his staff members often look as well at a player’s shoulder, knee, or back, even if the player did not appear to suffer an injury there.
College athletes are intuitively at a greater risk for concussion than in HS due to the higher magnitude of impacts but this is not reflected in the historical incident data. That is changing if only incrementally. This article gets at some of the root cause for what might be an under reporting phenomenon due to the "toughness" culture, damaged goods concerns from players and hysteria from the media and fans.
This came up on my feed... thought I'd share.
There is an association between participation in tackle football prior to age 12 and greater later-life cognitive impairment measured using objective neuropsychological tests. These findings suggest that incurring repeated head impacts during a critical neurodevelopmental period may increase the risk of later-life cognitive impairment.
NYT write ups...
The hits keep coming. Having played pop warner ball I have to wonder about my own precocious senior moments. This goes beyond NFL players.
The CTE story is the stake in the heart of the game that is slowly being twisted deeper with every study despite NFL huddling with mothers and settlements with players.
Do players sign releases in college? It's getting to that point. Michigan's exposure is already played out in past stories with first hand accounts from Michigan players. In my heart I think it is time to find another past time. Baseball anyone?