The Michigan Wolverines won’t face sanctions from the Big Ten Conference for their ill-advised decision to place a concussed Shane Morris back in the game Sept. 27 against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. But the league is taking proper steps to avoid similar situations in the future.
Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany spoke with ESPN.com’s Adam Rittenberg Wednesday and discussed some of the ideas the league may implement to improve on-field concussion assessments.
Big Ten ADs discussed concussion response this week after Michigan situation. Delany plans to bring in NFL officials to discuss protocols
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) October 8, 2014
As part of the NFL’s concussion protocols, a player in question must pass four components — the baseline cognitive test, a rehab program, the independent neurologist, and the team physician — before they’re allowed to return to the game. If these four components are not passed, the player is not allowed back into the game.
Morris clearly wouldn’t have passed all the components, and Michigan eventually admitted a lack of communication between the training staff and team coaches. Delany remained diplomatic when questioned directly about the situation.
Delany called Michigan/Morris situation “a teachable moment. Everybody’s on high alert.” ADs also looked at response in other sports — Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) October 8, 2014
By not punishing Michigan, the conference won’t be forced to react to every individual situation in the future.
The “teachable moment” Delany spoke of will come once the University of Michigan makes its final decisions on the futures of athletic director Dave Brandon and head football coach Brady Hoke. Their potential dismissals after this situation will speak volumes.