OT: WaPo slams Durkin, NCAA for player deaths

Submitted by LSA84 on August 21st, 2018 at 5:21 PM

Article is a scathing criticism of NCAA using antiquated tactics, not preventing player deaths due to heat/exhaustion.  A very telling stat:  since the NFL adopted different methods to prevent heat-related deaths, no NFL player has died from it during the past 17 years, while 27 NCAA football players have died during that time.

Here's to hoping Harbaugh and staff are on the cutting edge of this, as they are with other things.




August 21st, 2018 at 5:44 PM ^

Yea but that would mean the NCAA would have to care about the student athlete which would distract them from stacking their piles of money. 




August 21st, 2018 at 5:58 PM ^

To be fair, there may be 54 times as many NCAA football players as NFL players (using Jeffries non-informativr prior, one half of a death vs 27 deaths). I'm not saying the NCAA should not do everything they can do to prevent these things, but it's misleading to simply present just discuss bulk fatalities. If the death rate is once per 34 years per NFL-sized population, then the results we see might be indicative of equally efficacious policies.

I was too lazy to look up the number of NCAA football players, but I contend only marginally lazier than WaPo.


August 21st, 2018 at 8:12 PM ^

That's not all NCAA football schools, that's just FBS. There are FCS, Division II, and Division III schools as well. A quick Google search shows that there are 774 total football teams in the NCAA. 


There are also 105 players on each roster, 85 is the scholarship limit. 


August 21st, 2018 at 8:21 PM ^

Cool. +1 for the legwork. So 47x then. So, it's mathematically feasible the NCAA is actually more effective than the NFL...without having a larger sample size of years. 

Also, the whole able to edit a comment after a reply is going to get confusing come football season I bet. 


August 22nd, 2018 at 5:54 AM ^

The idea is that the sample size in the NFL is too small to tell. Let's just say, for argument's sake, that the real death rate for NFL and NCAA players is equal. The math above suggests the outcome observed (0 deaths from a small population and 27 deaths from a huge population) is a completely reasonable outcome and, indeed what we'd expect.


August 22nd, 2018 at 10:18 AM ^

He is going to be “super-fired.”  The issues being discussed right now are how exactly to terminate his employment while controlling perception to minimize civil liability and player defections.  I think Durkin will probably be a positional coach again, someday, but he blew this big time and it will alter the course of his entire career.  From the sound of things, Durkin needs to step away from the game for a while and like go for a walk on the beach for a while.


August 21st, 2018 at 7:06 PM ^

Football basically came together and mostly solved the problem after that one hot summer Korey Stringer and a number of HS and college football players died. Trainers and coaches were hammered with simple protocols to prevent these deaths and camps around the country changed before the next year.

If there's a trend of schools letting their vigilance lapse on this the NCAA should proactively step up to do re-training and compliance work, in addition to punishing schools that are found to put players at risk. 


August 22nd, 2018 at 9:10 AM ^

There's another serious problem with this editorial, aside from the number of players others have pointed out.  I'm assuming she's using this article for her information:


According to this article there were 5 exertional heat related deaths among NCAA football players between 2000 and 2017.  The other deaths were related to sickle cell anemia, heart defects, or asthma, so if she wants to make the comparison to the NFL on equal grounds, it's zero deaths to five.