Mike Leach, head coach of Texas Tech football is suspended for allegedly mistreating a player who had suffered a concussion last week in practice.
Reactions around the blogosphere range from the ridiculous to the absurd. Former wanna-be football players are basically saying that the player should “suck it up” and that coaches hazing football players is a rite of passage. It reminds me just a little bit of surgeons and docs (like me) trained pre “residency work hour restrictions” and post.
Those of us trained pre were of the opinion that “it’s just part of the training”, “you’ll be a better doctor for it”. And I’m sure that many of these former football players feel the same way.
What I can’t understand though, is how anyone can think that they know the best way to treat and diagnose a concussion when they have no medical background or concept of what real head injury is.
In my previous post on Concussion Rules Stir Controversy, I commented that were I a sideline coach, I’d pull every “mildly concussed” player from the game. The standard of care at one point was that if any syptoms were present, that the player should not return to contact sports until at least 7 days have passed without any sypmtoms of a concussion.
Since many concussions result in a “post concussive syndrome” that can persist for days to months, there’s no way to predict when I player can return to play.
It’s a sticky situation, and if you have an abusive or belittling coach, it can really put the player in a tug of war between phsyicians and coaches.
Regarding the suspension of Texas Tech Coach Mike Leach, whatever the truth is, it highlights that every school, be it high school or collegiate, needs to adopt a policy on concussion management for players. Remove the head coach from the decision as he should not be involved…let him coach football.
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