Headlines from this weekend in the world of health and safety in sports:
* The NBA’s No. 1 draft pick, Anthony Davis, has entered the league’s concussion program after suffering a blow to the head during the New Orleans Hornets’ game against the Utah Jazz, according to NOLA.com. Davis, who also was on the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team, was accidentally hit on the head by teammate Austin Rivers.
The NBA put in a concussion policy in 2011 that determines when players return from head injuries. Under the rule, Davis will have to complete a series of tests to determine if he’s fit to return. Once Davis is free of symptoms, he will have to make it through increasing stages of exertion, from a stationary bike, to jogging, agility work to non-contact drills while ensuring the concussion-like symptoms don’t return after each one, according to the league’s concussion policy
ESPN reported Davis missed his Chicago homecoming against the Bulls on Saturday night because of the injury. However, his coach, Monty Williams, took the opportunity to rip the NBA’s concussion policy to the Chicago media.
“When you’re dealing with the brain, I guess what’s happening in football has impacted everybody,” Williams said before the game. “He got touched up a little bit last night. That happens a lot in basketball. It’s just that now they treat everybody like they have white gloves and pink drawers and it’s getting old. It’s just the way the league is now.”
According to NBA.com, he wasn’t done.
Williams also said: “It’s a man’s game and we’re treating these guys like they’re five years old.”
* The season ended — again — for Detroit Lions running back Jahvid Best, who was not cleared by the team doctors to play for the rest of the year, according to MLive.com. His agent told the Detroit Free Press that he still wants to play football.
Best’s agent, Tony Fleming, said Best supports the decision but still wants to play football again. “He obviously still wants to play, we’re just in a climate now in the NFL where everybody’s extra cautious,” Fleming said. “Everybody is concerned about Jahvid and his health and his future, so they’re just going to be very cautious and they’re not going to clear him until he’s ready.”
* Mike Arace of the Columbus Post-Dispatch wrote about how Ohio is working on what might be the most comprehensive concussion law in the country.
* In an interview scheduled to air Sunday evening, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers talked to 60 minutes about bounties, leading the Packers and concussions, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
* A study by the Cedar Rapids Gazette that one-third of all of the concussions in Iowa colleges last year were suffered while playing football.
* After denying he suffered a concussion last week, Arizona quarterback Matt Scott played against UCLA on Saturday, the Los Angeles Times reported.
* The Portland (Maine) Press-Herald looked at what is being done in its community to prevent concussions — and if it is enough.
* Horsetalk.co.nz reported that the symposium on concussions in sports turned its focus to horseback riding late last week.
* And would you believe concussed CFL player Marco Ianuzzi told the Calgary Herald he isn’t ready to return from a concussion because he went to the University of Minnesota and not Harvard?
– Bill Bradley, contributing editor