Never before has there been so much awareness about head trauma in sports, especially football. Concussions put careers in danger and now there seems to be more caution regarding the injuries than any past generation received. Sometimes though there are shortcomings with troubling consequences later on in life.
Alex Isaac, a former football player at Division 3 Baldwin Wallace University in Ohio has filed a lawsuit against the school, accusing the school of failing to recognize, diagnose, test or treat him for symptoms of a concussion, as reported by USA Today. According to the report, Isaac states he was allowed to play in full-contact activity without receiving the proper evaluations for head trauma. Isaac claims to have reported symptoms that went untreated.
The NCAA and school each have standard procedures in place for head trauma care, although ultimately the decision on how to determine when players may return to the field is in the hands of each individual school. It is Isaac’s claim these were ignored in order to rush him back to the field.
“Not only did Baldwin Wallace medical staff ignore the signs and symptoms of Isaac’s clear concussion, but they did so repeatedly and in the face of NCAA and college-wide protocols set in place to keep student-athletes safe,”said Steve Berman, an attorney representing Isaac in the lawsuit. “Isaac clearly identified his symptoms to medical staff, and Hagens Berman [the law firm filing the lawsuit] finds it deeply disturbing that he was encouraged to continue participating in games and practices.”
On a somewhat related note, on Tuesday Utah announced quarterback Travis Wilson was given medical clearance to return to football activities after seeing his 2013 season end short due to head trauma.
Back in December, Jay Norvell was rumored to be a candidate for Arizona State’s vacancy at offensive coordinator. Two months later, it appears the Texas play-caller will be joining Todd Graham‘s coaching staff after all, albeit in a “lesser” capacity.
Shortly after Texas confirmed that Charlie Strong had lost one assistant due to “circumstances [that] have put us in a position that we are going to part ways,” reports began to surface that Norvell is leaving Texas to take a job at ASU. Specifically, Norvell is expected to become Graham’s wide receivers coach and hold the title of passing-game coordinator as well.
Norvell spent one season at Texas after being dismissed by Oklahoma following the 2014 season. Originally hired as the Longhorns’ wide receivers coach, Norvell was promoted to play-caller early on in the 2015 season when Shawn Watson and Joe Wickline were demoted by Strong.
After the 2015 season, Norvell ceded his play-calling duties to Sterlin Gilbert, who was hired by Strong as offensive coordinator in December. Norvell won’t have play-calling duties at Arizona State, either, as Graham hired Chip Lindsey away from Southern Miss to coordinate the Sun Devils’ offense.
Norvell becomes the fifth Longhorn assistant to leave the program since the end of the season, joining Watson (not retained), Wickline (moved on to West Virginia), Tommie Robinson (left for USC) and Chris Vaughn (Ole Miss muck). The last two offseasons, a total of eight assistants have left the program in some form or fashion.
As it stands now, Strong has three vacancies to fill on his current staff.
Citing a source with knowledge of the situation, the Los Angeles Times reported overnight that outgoing USC athletic director Pat Haden underwent what’s only being described as “an unspecified medical procedure” at some point Thursday.
Early Wednesday afternoon, reports surfaced that Haden nearly collapsed outside of Heritage Hall and was treated by paramedics called to the scene. Shortly thereafter, per reports, he was taken to the hospital via ambulance. A statement from the school confirmed Haden had felt lightheaded before being treated by medical personnel and ultimately transported to his doctor off campus.
The 63-year-old Haden, who has a pacemaker, was taken to one hospital later that day and discharged. According to the Times, however, Haden was taken to another hospital at some point after the first visit and was held overnight prior to the procedure being performed Thursday.
It’s expected that Haden will remain hospitalized for another day or two, the paper reports.
A similar episode prior to the Notre Dame game last season prompted Haden to give up his duties as a member of the College Football Playoff selection committee. Lingering health issues played a role in his decision earlier this month to step down as USC’s athletic director later this year.
Departures had left Matt Wells with myriad openings on his Utah State coaching staff. Earlier this week, Wells filled one hole on the offensive side of the ball; a day later, he turned to the defensive side.
The university confirmed Wednesday that Julius Brown has been added by Wells as cornerbacks coach. Brown had spent the past two seasons as the secondary coach and recruiting coordinator at Mountain West rival Boise State.
Brown, who played his college football with the Broncos, and his alma mater reportedly parted ways earlier this year. The Idaho Statesman reported at the time that “[i]t was unclear if Brown’s departure would be termed a resignation or a firing.”
Prior to his first tenure at BSU, Brown was a secondary coach and recruiting coordinator at Arkansas State (2013) and cornerbacks coach at Troy (2012).
“We are excited to add Julius to the Aggie football family,” said Wells. “He brings a lot of experience to our staff and team as both a secondary coach and former defensive back, and also has a reputation as an outstanding recruiter. He possesses key knowledge of the Mountain West that will aid us moving forward in our quest to win a conference championship.”
With the hiring of Brown, Wells still has a need for running backs and tight ends coaches as well as special teams coordinator.
Following up on reports that surfaced earlier today, Texas head coach Charlie Strong has confirmed in a statement that Chris Vaughn is no longer a member of his Longhorns coaching staff.
“Chris did a tremendous job for us,” the statement from Strong began. “He’s a terrific football coach and a great person. However, circumstances have put us in a position that we are going to part ways.”
While those circumstances weren’t specified, it’s believed they’re tied to the NCAA’s investigation into the Ole Miss football program.
From 2008-11, Vaughn was an assistant under Houston Nutt with the Rebels. One report in connection to Vaughn’s ouster at UT stated that “the facts against Vaughn [in the Ole Miss case] ‘were damning,'” while another said the “NCAA has a ‘thick file’ on Vaughn.”
Vaughn had spent the past two seasons as Strong’s defensive backs coach. While his two-year contract had expired late last month, he had an option for a third year that, prior to the Ole Miss developments, was expected to be picked up by the football program.