More Concussions Force More Players to Leave the Game of College Football
For many collegiate football student-athletes, the idea of finishing out their college career and moving onto the National Football League is essentially a lifelong dream. They dream of running out on the field with their teammates for as long as their bodies let them.
Unfortunately, more and more of these student-athletes are leaving the game much earlier than they expected—and not because they’re not considered good enough. No, they’re leaving the game due to something much more serious than that.
The ongoing problem of concussions in sports has shortened the careers of many, and for some, they won’t even get the chance to make it to the pros. Even in recent years, many individuals have decided to call it a career to prevent from even further damage.
Here are some of the players who have retired during their college football playing days due to concussions and how it can impact the game moving forward. These are real players who had to watch their careers get cut short and unfortunately, still live with the aftermath of multiple head injuries.
Former Connecticut Quarterback Casey Cochran
Once a budding young quarterback with a bright future and plenty of potential for the his career, Casey Cochran did not expect to end his playing days in college. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened following a redshirt freshman season in which he completed 63% of his passes.
During the first game of the 2014 season, Cochran and the Huskies played the Brigham Young University Cougars. On a fourth-down play, Cochran was injured following a hard hit by a BYU linebacker. Cochran’s head hit the turf and he blacked out.
It was this concussion that made the decision easier for Cochran, who at this point in his career, had suffered 13 total concussions. He made the decision that his long-term health was more important to him than the game of football and retired shortly after.
Former West Virginia Quarterback Clint Trickett
For most players, the moment their senior season ends is the time to get ready for the pros. Unfortunately, this was not the case for former Florida State and West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett.
He wasn’t forced to retire after one specific moment like Casey Cochran, but it was the overall situation and the effects he faced following multiple concussions that led to him calling it a career following his senior season.
Instead of getting ready for the NFL, Trickett decided that it was time to end his playing career, put down his helmet and pick up a headset as he went on to be a coach for East Mississippi Community College, and then at Florida Atlantic University.
University of Wisconsin Players
In recent years, multiple players from the University of Wisconsin made the decision to call it a career after not only suffering multiple concussions, but also experiencing the aftermath of post-concussion effects associated with the injury.
For Walker Williams, Austin Ramesh, Jake Whalen, and a few others, the multiple concussions they sustained and the symptoms they experienced scared them to the point they called it a career. This includes the feelings of ongoing headaches, loud ringing sounds, short-term memory loss, anxiety, depression, and more.
Two other players this past year were injured, suffering concussions. However, only one left the team, citing reasons other than the football-related injuries he sustained in college and in both middle school and high school.
Former Cal Bear Jahvid Best
This situation is a bit different as Jahvid Best didn’t retire while he was still in college. However, many are chalking up the memorable hit he took in college as the reason his life changed the way that it did, causing him to retire just a few years into what was a promising NFL career.
In November of 2009, as the California Bears were playing the Oregon State Beavers, Jahvid Best made a diving attempt to reach the end zone. He was up ended, flipping into the end zone, and landing right on his upper back and head.
Best’s arms stiffened up as he laid motionless on the ground. He went on to miss the rest of that season, forgo his senior year and enter the NFL draft. He was selected in the first round, and played well to start his career, but multiple concussions forced him out of the game a few years after.
The Injuries and the Ever-Changing Game
Year after year, we see individuals sit on the sidelines as a result of concussions. We see them taken out of games after significant helmet-to-helmet collisions that force them to lose consciousness, even if for just a brief moment.
It is a frightening experience and student-athletes are starting to see what their futures could be like should they continue to suffer concussions as a result of their love for a sport. And while there are some situations where coaches, the NCAA, and equipment makers are taking measures to make the game safer, there are still far too many individuals getting hurt.
The idea behind the lawsuits that have been filed are not about ending the game of football entirely. It’s not about the idea that individuals are not aware of the risks. It’s about the fact that so many bypass safety protocols in hopes of having their best player on the field, despite concussion protocols in place and without thinking about the future of the student-athlete.
Those at the collegiate level don’t have the same multi-million dollar salaries to fall back on that pro players do. There is no contingency plan for a student-athlete who is forced to call it a career without even making it to the big leagues. So, who do they rely on?
Unfortunately, those that the athlete relied on previously may have put their health to the side for the sake of winning a game. These are the individuals who suffer. They have to deal with the symptoms associated with multiple concussions because of lack of safety, while those tasked with protecting them continue to live their lives.
At Shrader & Associates, L.L.P., we’re taking action on behalf of student collegiate athletes who have suffered multiple concussions due to negligence. These players should be properly monitored following a concussion to ensure that they are healthy and safe to play again. They shouldn’t be forced back into a game too soon for the sake of winning.
Our sports injury lawyers know what it takes to help these individuals move forward with the legal action necessary to protect their rights. We build the strong case you need backed by evidence, proving that negligence was involved, and holding the liable party completely accountable.
If you or someone you love has suffered significant head trauma as a collegiate athlete—especially in the world of college football—know that you may have rights. Our firm is standing by to answer your questions, provide the guidance you need, and help you move forward.
Concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy are real problems with real symptoms. Don’t let your rights go unnoticed. Call our firm today at (877) 958-7920 for a free consultation of your potential case and learn what you can do moving forward to seek the most favorable outcome possible.