Looking for information about concussions to bring to this audience, I slipped across this article from Eamonn Brennan of ESPN.com’s College Nation Blog. While writing about Louisville basketball Brennan commented on Pitino’s dismissive nature of concussions.
“It’s the seventeenth concussion we’ve had this year,” Pitino said. “I’ve been coaching now 35 years. I’ve seen maybe 5 concussions in 35 years. The new thing is everybody has a concussion. If you walk out and slightly brush the door, you have a concussion. That’s the way it is today.”
As Brennan stated in the article, and I agree with, this is what is wrong with the concussion issue at hand. People, important and influential like Pitino, diminishing the issue. Then Brennan commented on why it was bad form for him to do so;
…But concussions happen everywhere, in every sport, and they’re no less serious if they happen on the floor rather than the field.
In other words, it’s bad form to complain about the increased frequency of reported concussions. Would you complain that, “these days,” people wash their hands too much? Or that they wear their seatbelts too often?
Concussions aren’t happening more than ever. It’s just that we know about them now. As always, knowledge is a good thing. And, frankly, Pitino should know better.
Thank you Eamonn for writing about this and taking him to task a bit. If Pitino really feels that secure in his assessment of concussions, then he should be part of the solution by helping out with research and filling out the information the University of Illinois is getting for long-term concussion issues.