North Carolina AD defends Larry Fedora for comments on player safety and CTE

UNC coach Larry Fedora has an ally in his athletic director. Bubba Cunningham defended his coach's remarks on Thursday after a board of trustees' meeting in Chapel Hill that he felt Fedora's comments were "poorly communicated."

"You know, I think Larry was really concerned about the health and safety of students, and I don't think it came across all that well, obviously," Cunningham said via ESPN.

"We're lucky to be working in such a great environment where the health and safety of our students is first and foremost. Larry feels that way. Again, it was just poorly communicated yesterday. But he's passionate about protecting these students, he's passionate about the game of football, it just didn't come off all that well."

Fedora said during ACC Media Days on Wednesday that he believes football is "under attack" and that the sport being changed would lead to the decline of our country. He also noted that he doesn't believe brain trauma has been critically linked to football.

"I don't think that it's been proven the game of football causes CTE, but that's been put out there," Fedora said. "We don't really know yet. Are there chances for concussions in the game of football -- yeah, we all have common sense, right? When you have two people running into each other there is a chance of a concussion. But the game is safer than its ever been in the history of the game."

While he later noted that North Carolina is one of the top research universities when it comes to brain trauma and concussions, Fedora believes any contact sport comes with that same risk of injury.

"When you're talking about the health and safety of your players. Is it our responsibility to prepare them for the chances of it happening and what happens when you've had one? To the best of my knowledge that's what we do. I think every kid that's playing the game at this level understands there are risks. Now, that person has to weigh whether the risk is worth the reward. He has to, and he's the only one who can make that decision. If he comes to college on a college scholarship, he's probably made that decision."

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