Anger in Ann Arbor: Football incident ignites injury regulation debate


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Handing the ball off to a teammate, quarterback Shane Morris leads the Michigan offense in a game this season. Morris suffered a mild concussion in a game on Sat. Sept. 27, but was not taken out of the game immediately due to insufficient medical examination. This event has sparked debate over concussion regulation is all levels of football, and will continue to be examined throughout the current season.

Moments after he stepped pack to pass, Michigan quarterback Shane Morris is rocked by a Minnesota defender in a helmet-to-helmet collision. Staggering to his feet, Morris then collapses in a teammates arm.

Despite these glaring signs of a concussion, the quarterback remained in the game, attempting another pass before being substituted out. After one last hand off, Morris was out of the game for good, and carted off the field.

“I think we’ve only had one concussion this year,” senior Philip Silverman said.

This incident on Sat. Sept. 27, has ignited a debate over concussion procedure in college football. Michigan residents and football fans alike have questioned the manner in which the team handled the head injury, leading to petitions, protests, and investigations.

As of 5:30 p.m. on Tues. Sept. 30, Michigan president Mark Schlissel released a statement to the public saying, “Despite having one of the finest levels of team medical expertise in the country, our system failed on Saturday.”

This brings us to the question: What is the system?

According to NCAA rules: All student-athletes who are experiencing signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a sport-related concussion, at rest or with exertion, must be removed from practice or competition and referred to an athletic trainer.

These college guidelines are in fact very similar to the ones in place at SHS.

“Players showing signs of concussions are immediately sent to the trainer on the sideline,” head coach Scott Datillo said.

Nearing the end of the 2014-2015 season, the SHS football program has experienced minimal concussions.

“There’s a protocol that you have to follow before you can return to play. It takes many weeks to get back to full contact,” Datillo said.

In the case of Michigan’s Shane Morris, it was admitted that he was enabled to enter the game again without a neurological exam. This mishandling was attributed to poor communication among the medical staff.

Whether or not the Big 10 Conference will be administering any punishment for the incident is still in question.

However, the recent turn of events has not gone unnoticed, and is serving as a reminder for football programs of all levels to abide by the set concussion rules to minimize injury.