Concussions have forced talented athletes to retire from the sport they love sooner than anticipated. Sadly, many of these players’ careers might not have been cut short had their coaches and teams followed proper concussion protocol.
Below, we discuss the case of former Syracuse player Mike Clark, one of the victims of this negligence.
Why Mike Clark Retired From Football
In late December 2019, Syracuse offensive lineman Mike Clark revealed that a head injury ended his football career prematurely.
Clark announced in an Instagram post that his head injury occurred during training camp in the summer leading up to the 2019 football season.
Clark is just one example of the droves of promising young athletes who had to give up the sport they love due to a debilitating injury. And, sadly, many of these cases occurred due to collegiate coaches and teams failing to follow proper concussion protocol.
NCAA Concussion Protocol
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has established guidelines for coaches and teams to follow before and after a student-athlete suffers a head injury during play.
These guidelines include the following:
- Education. College institutions should provide applicable concussion fact sheets to student-athletes, coaches, team physicians, athletic trainers, and athletic directors on an annual basis. There should be a signed acknowledgment that all parties have read and understand the concussion fact sheets and their institution’s concussion management plan.
- Pre-participation assessment. A pre-participation concussion assessment for all student-athletes should include a brain injury/concussion history, symptom evaluation, cognitive assessment, and balance evaluation.
- Recognition and diagnosis of concussion. Any student-athlete experiencing symptoms consistent with a concussion must be removed from competition and referred to a team physician with experience in concussion management.
- Post-concussion management. The student-athlete must receive appropriate post-concussion management, including clinical evaluation, hospital transport, continual monitoring, and more.
- Planned return to activity. Student-athletes may not return to play until they have returned to their baseline condition, as judged by a healthcare provider.
For a variety of misguided reasons, some coaches and teams decide not to follow the proper concussion protocols and often return a player to competition before they are ready.
This can lead to subsequent head injuries and a worse prognosis for the student-athlete.
Received a Sports Concussion? Contact Us Today
If you or someone you love received a sports-related concussion that could have been prevented, our sports injury attorneys at Shrader & Associates L.L.P. are here to fight for you. We make it our mission to hold negligent coaches and teams accountable for their actions and to protect the health of current and future student-athletes.
Contact us today at (713) 787-3733 to speak with our team today