A Second College Quarterback Calls It Quits Due to Concussion-Related Concerns
For the second time in as many weeks, a college quarterback is retiring from football due to concussion-related concerns.
University of Texas head coach Charlie Strong announced Wednesday that junior signal-caller David Ash, who suffered a concussion during the 2013 season opener against Brigham Young University, would no longer be playing football. Ash led the Longhorns to a 38-7 victory in this year's season opener on Aug. 30, but the team benched him two days later due to a recurrence of concussion symptoms.
According to ESPN.com's Max Olson, Ash informed the Texas training staff the day after the game that he was "experiencing headaches and dizziness." The team shut him down a day later, announcing he wouldn't take the field against BYU that weekend.
Two weeks later, his football career is over.
"I had a chance today to talk to David Ash," Strong said during his weekly press conference Wednesday. "He came by, and we just decided because of his health, which is always critical and that is the number one concern for all of us, that he's no longer going to play football."
The coach insisted that Ash will still be a part of the Texas football program, however.
He's going to be a part of the team because I told him I want him around the team. That's what he deserves, and he should be part of this program, and he will continue to be part of this program. ... I want him to continue to come to meetings, and I want him to come to practice. Even if we travel, I can take him on the trip, but I want him to just stay with the program.
Strong said that Ash will be "like a [quarterback] coach out there on the field. He'll go out at practice, and he can work with the younger players. ... I know he's not going to be able to play, but still being a part of it will be great for our program."
Last Monday, the University of Connecticut announced that redshirt quarterback Casey Cochran was retiring from football due to the multiple concussions he suffered during his playing career. The sophomore suffered a concussion late in UConn's season opener against BYU, but didn't mention the injury until four days after the game, per Jim Fuller of the New Haven Register.
A report released last October by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council suggested that plenty of work remained when it came to changing the culture of youth sports and concussions. "There is still a culture among athletes and military personnel that resists both the self-reporting of concussions and compliance with appropriate concussion management plans," the report said.
With two college quarterbacks giving up their athletic dreams in a two-week span due to concussion-related concerns, it seems as though education efforts in recent years about the long-term risks of concussions are paying off.
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