On September 27th, University of Michigan quarterback, Shane Morris, suffered a severe hit late in the game against the University of Minnesota. Morris, who was obviously shaken and confused by the hit was initially not removed from the game, but later left but then returned to play. ESPN coverage was shocked over his return to the game and there is evidence that his team mates shared that concern.
Brady Hoke, Michigan’s Head Coach denied that Morris experienced a concussion in an interview on September 30. New York Magazine raised several interesting possibilities in their view of the injury and his subsequent return. Did Coach Hoke not know that his quarterback had a concussion or was there a cover-up of the injury or, possibly, were medical staff forced to lie? The New York Magazine story focuses on Dave Brandon, the former CEO of Domino’s Pizza and now a key figure in the University of Michigan’s football world. They point to Brandon as the person who may be responsible for engineering a cover-up.
With the intense focus on the long term effects of concussions on football players why would the University of Michigan, its Head Coach or the sports organization directed by Brandon even begin to think of allowing a player who may have had a concussion to return to the game? What value would be gained by the University of Michigan to allow an player with a brain injury to return without a thorough examination? As a brain injury professional I am very disappointed to hear about how Shane Morris’ concussive injury was managed.
Football is getting itself in “the wrong place and the wrong time”.