“I can only hope that’s posturing for a coach who wants the rule.”

Man, if I didn’t know any better, it sure sounds like there are a lot of haunted head coaches in college football.  As well as a lot of head coaches who aren’t doctors and shouldn’t play them in an NCAA rules change debate.

“How do you do it [slow the game down] for a guy who is out there for seven, eight, nine plays in a row,” Calhoun told reporters this week, “especially if it’s a kid you have to manage that maybe has a sickle cell trait or asthma.”

Some clarifications:

  • Attaching pace of play and player safety to sickle cell trait seems to be a reach. No Division I player has ever died during a game due to sickle cell trait. Every documented case of death due to SCT has occurred during practice or offseason conditioning.

    Sickle cell trait is the leading killer of Division I players since 2000. The inherited condition is passed along genetically. In small percentages among mostly African-Americans, it causes blood cells to “sickle” during times of exertion.

  • Oklahoma, among other schools, has had award winners play with the condition. If coaches and trainers are educated, they know enough to ease such players into drills to avoid overexertion.
  • The NCAA has mandated testing for sickle cell trait since August 2010. A coaching and training staff would know if player had the trait.
  • The last documented player to die from the condition was Ole Miss’ Bennie Abram. He died four years ago Wednesday.
  • Seven, eight, nine plays in a row? Scott Anderson scoffs. The respected Oklahoma head athletic trainer is one of the leading authorities on SCT. Anderson is also the former president of the College Athletics Trainers Society (CATS).

“All any [unhealthy] player ever has to do is ‘take a knee’, or, if down … stay down,” Anderson wrote in an email. “With a downed player … all play stops! Medical assessment ensues, the player is removed from play.”

Unhealthy ain’t the same as poorly conditioned.  (Or out of position, for that matter.)  It makes you wonder if some of these guys have any clue about how to deal with the kids who really are a health risk.


Filed under Strategery And Mechanics, The Body Is A Temple

7 responses to ““I can only hope that’s posturing for a coach who wants the rule.”

  1. Mayor of Dawgtown

    Under Scott Anderson’s way of thinking being fatigued is the same as an injury so all the fatigued player need do is fall down an stay down. If he just took a knee the O likely would snap the ball anyway and the refs probably would let them do it.


  2. Hogbody Spradlin

    Not making light of the dead, but the sickle cell canard and Troy Calhoun’s memories do not justify a rule change. They are scattered anecdotes.


  3. DawgPhan

    The sickle thing is something that needs attention. I think that teams should be using all of the health monitoring tools available to nearly everyone. heart monitors on every player with a medical person on the sidelines that makes decisions about that student athlete staying in the game kinda the same way we do with concussions. Could do the same with practice…think of all the data we could amass to help predict and prevent these injuries.

    The line of thought for coach Bielema is that if he thought that if one of his defensive players was in a serious health risk situation, but he didnt have a time out he would just play “wait and see” is pretty bad.

    Also wondering why CBB isnt worried about long drives, drives of over 10 plays, drives longer than 60 yards or maybe no long touchdown runs.


  4. John Denver is full of shit...

    Maybe we should have yellow cards for slide tackles…

    What the fuck is going on in this country?


  5. E dawg

    As a former soccer stud that played very rough I must agree let the pussies slide tackle.


    • Hogbody Spradlin

      Soccer can be rough. In middle school travel soccer my daughter, thin but all muscle, could knock opponents into next week. Pardon the proud papa thing, but Dave Schultz would have been envious.