Posted by Tom Fornelli
Last month during a win over SMU, TCU head coach Gary Patterson was caught on camera yelling at a trainer on the sidelines. Turns out that Patterson wasn't very fond of the trainer's decision to hold running back Ed Wesley out of the game with what he diagnosed as a concussion. Well that trainer was the team's head physician, and during an interview with American Medical News , he gave us a better idea of what went down on that sideline.
"He was knocked unconscious, and any loss of consciousness is automatically considered a concussion," said Dr. Samuel J. Haraldson. "He had an unsteady gait and a few memory problems.
"Then five or six plays later, I literally was verbally accosted by the coach, screaming at me insanely at the top of his lungs that he doesn't think [Wesley] has a concussion and what right do I have to hold him out,"
Haraldson says that after TCU had taken control of the game, Patterson did come over and offer what he termed a "pseudo-apology." Of course, a few days later Patterson told ESPN Dallas that as far as he was concerned, Wesley "was fine ten minutes after he got hurt."
It's a problem that isn't just taking place at TCU, either. Coaches throughout the country are under more pressure to win football games than ever before, and treating concussions so carefully is a new thing in football because we're only know becoming aware of what kind of damage they can do. Just look at Arkansas, where even though Ryan Mallett suffered a concussion last week against Auburn, he's back practicing and is likely going to play again this Saturday.
That's a decision based on winning football games, not Mallett's personal well-being.
These are supposed to be student -athletes, after all, who aren't being paid to play at the school. Instead they're being rewarded with a free education, which doesn't mean much if you can't remember anything you learned because your coach is rushing you back onto the field following a concussion.
Hat tip: Doc Saturday