Matt Bowen former NFL safety from 2000-2006 contributes to the National Football Post and basically did a follow-up on the Alex Marvez story on athletes cheating the baseline tests to gain an advantage when they were actually concussed. Bowen explains why he did what he did;
During my rookie season in St. Louis and my first year as a Packer in Green Bay I took the concussion test seriously. However, by my third season I started to see the nature of this business play out in front of me and what happened when you couldn’t dress and produce on Sunday.
Your roster spot became expendable and like most athletes who view themselves as “immortal,” I wasn’t going to let a simple concussion slow me down. So I screwed with my own test results to protect my spot in the lineup and on special teams.
Now Bowen, as a writer, has read of the long-term effects and is even dealing with some of the issues personally, he went on further to give insight to what he is thinking now; Continue reading
UPDATE: Thanks to commenter @SpMedConcepts I should write that one test is just a piece to the puzzle. And a comprehensive testing procedure that includes all of the available “baselines” and assessments should be used. It becomes more difficult to cloud the picture with deception when using this approach.
Knowing about concussions is one thing, but knowing that players may take advantage of the system is another factor. Like anything else in this world people will look to exploit weaknesses in systems to gain an advantage. After all isn’t that the crux of competition and sports? We have seen Irv Muchnick open up the dialogue on Ritalin as a possible way to “cheat the system” and now Alex Marvez of Fox Sports tells us the other, more obvious way to “cheat the system”;
Dr. Daniel Amen, who has treated current and former players for post-concussion symptoms, said some of his clients have confessed to fudging the initial baseline tests administered by NFL teams. By doing so, Amen said those players are seeking quicker clearance to return from any future head injuries they might suffer.
If the baseline tests are to be used to compare then why try hard and excel at them, only to have that first test hinder their return? This is the common question that the professional and adolescent athletes are dealing with. Even though baseline tests, be it neurocognitive computer based or hand written like the SCAT2 or the new NFL test, are objective Continue reading