Today’s health and safety news around football — and other sports:
* On the day that the football world was reacting to the announcement that the late Junior Seau was diagnosed with CTE, Bernie Kosar held a surprising press conference in Middleburg Heights, Ohio, on Thursday. The Associated Press reported that Kosar claims to have found the answer to his concussion problems in Dr. Rick Sponaugle. He is being called a ”pioneer” in brain therapies at his wellness institute in Palm Harbor, Fla.
Kosar claims through Sponaugle’s ”groundbreaking” work that his symptoms have improved, his brain is healing and he’s feeling better than he has in years.
”It was a gift from God to find this and feel like this,” Kosar said Thursday, opening up publicly for the first time about his affliction. ”I see all the symptoms going away.”
Kosar’s is spreading the word about his improved condition and his goal is to get help for former teammates and other ex-NFL players dealing with onset dementia, depression and other symptoms caused by playing an inherently violent sport only now coming to terms with the physical toll it has taken on thousands.
Kosar contacted NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and told him about Sponaugle, whose complex treatments to improve blood flow in the brain include intravenous therapies along with dietary supplements.
* A columnist with The Sporting News wrote that Seau’s findings are another reminder about the post-playing concussion epidemic.
* Paola Boivin of The Arizona Republic wrote that this new should scare parents about kids playing football.
This is a strong message to Arizona high school coaches and administrators to err heavily on the side of caution. Concussion awareness has made great strides in this state but I’m still hearing stories of young athletes whose head collisions aren’t taken seriously enough. The “win at all costs” mentality has a stranglehold on some who have forgotten that prep sports is also supposed to be about development and teamwork.
* The Action Institute wrote that pro football is in trouble if the government tries to regulate the sport like it has boxing.
* Forbes.com pondered the connection between Seau’s death and the other recent self-inflicted deaths of pro football players.
* The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wrote about strides made by the UMPC Sports Medicine Concussion Program in working with the Pittsburgh Penguins on hockey concussions.
* The Huffington Post reported on the recent announcement of the government study to examine concussions in youth sports.
* Former NHL player Keith Primeau is preaching to give kids time to heal after concussions, according to the Wayne, N.J., Patch site.
* And Huffington Post Canada said that with the NHL coming back, fans should urge the league to ban fighting in order to cut down on unnecessary injuries like concussions.
The good news is there’s a simple solution: All it will take to get rid of concussions and fighting is imposing a crushing punishment on players who hit others in the head and/or drop their gloves. A 10-game-or-less suspension and $2,500 fine, the fairly standard penalty meted out by the NHL last season for illegal and dangerous hits, is clearly not enough to convince players to change how they play the game. But tripling or quadrupling the suspensions and multiplying the fines by 10 would be; players wouldn’t be able to afford that level of punitive action (especially with reductions in salary cap and contract lengths), and if teams were made to pay up, too, for players’ actions, you can be sure the parsimonious NHL owners would get on board in a flash.
– Bill Bradley, contributing editor