It’s time to applaud Syracuse Athletics. That’s not something that has been written or said too much this past season; but the program deserves praise for its concussion protocol.
Yesterday during the SU and Johns Hopkins lacrosse broadcast on ESPN, analyst Quint Kessenich said that if a Syracuse athlete gets three concussions, then they are automatically medically disqualified from playing again for the program. He made it sound like this goes for all sports.
The University has never released any information about this rule, but judging from SU football players having their careers ended by concussions what Kessenich says is true.
Syracuse Athletics team physician Dr. James Tucker ruled in April that Orange defensive lineman Isaiah Johnson could not play for the team anymore because of multiple concussions. Tucker also disqualified offensive lineman Kyle Knapp in 2014 and defensive end Tyler Marona in 2013 due to multiple head injuries. It looks like this protocol has been in place for a few years.
This practice makes Syracuse look smart and ahead of the game. This year the NCAA approved a guideline stating that it must pass a school’s concussion protocol for every individual sport before the season starts. The NCAA cannot punish schools if they break their own rules however.
Basically, the body has no authority when it comes to these matters and relies on school’s to make correct decisions with concussions, which doesn’t always happen (look at the Shane Morris situation at Michigan). Morris was allowed to play after being concussed, which is different than ending a player’s career after three head injuries, but still kudos to SU for sticking to its rules.
The fact that the University ends an athlete’s career instead of letting them decide to play at their own risk is commendable. After three concussions some college athletes would risk their health and keep playing. Syracuse does not allow that because the University understands the potential dangers, an awareness that many other major colleges have not yet grasped.
In a time of no concussion protocol regulation by the NCAA, Syracuse has an intelligent and admiral head injury policy. The only issue with it is that it is not more widely renowned.
Posted: Connor Morrissette