Concussions and Consequences

It’s fall and that means football. But as the iconic American sport begins another season, Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson asks the question: should colleges and universities place so much emphasis on a sport that can have such dire consequences for student athletes?

Stephen is joined by sports journalist Joanne Gerstner and Dr. Jeff Kutcher, the founder of University of Michigan’s NeuroSport clinic and a neurologist for Michigan Athletics. The three discuss Stephen’s misgivings about football and head injuries.  Here is the essence of their conversation:

  • Media sensationalism: The narrative surrounding sports injuries is void of critical thought and focused on headlines instead of science and direct statistics according to Dr. Kutcher.
  • Physicality: Unlike other sports football is contact-based, involving high-impact collisions on a repetitive basis.  As a physician, Kutcher observes that it can be a therapeutic outlet for some patients with previous issues with anger and violence.
  • Scholarships: Children and their families commit early to the cycle of a single sport in order to receive scholarships and college playing time.  This is required if they’re considering a professional career.
  • Pre-existing condition: One caller notes that concussions remain on medical records and can influence insurance and treatment options.

Click here to hear the full conversation

Image credit: WDET CC

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