News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

The Holden Arboretum

Greater Akron Chamber

Akron General


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Sports


Terry Pluto: No longer just a 'ding on the head'
Cleveland Clinic leads new research on concussions as more younger athletes suffer head injuries
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
Courtesy of Cleveland Clinic
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

The Cleveland Clinic is leading new research on sports-related concussions to find ways to better protect athletes. It’s an issue that’s an increasing concern in youth sports – and not just football. WKSU commentator Terry Pluto says that until recently, concussions were not taken seriously.

Click to Listen

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (4:06)


(Click image for larger view.)

Terry Pluto:  A ding in the head. That’s what they used to call it in football. He just got dinged. I mean, Bernie Kosar says he doesn’t know how many concussions he had.

 

Amanda Rabinowitz:  Bernie Kosar, former Browns quarterback.

 

TP: Browns quarterback. He was saying when he played for the Browns, he played with smelling salts in his belt of his pants. So that if he felt a little ding in the head, a little dizzy out there, he kind of brought himself back. Because you just played through it. Those types of stories, you know, kind of permeate down into the lower ranks of sports. “Hey, play through it! Play through it!”

 

AR:  I mean, mostly the emphasis has always been on football – the concern for concussions. But really with the discussions that’s taking place now, it’s not just football that’s the concern.

 

TP:  Well, not at all. Also, if you consider the fact that in youth sports, not only is your body not fully developed, your brain isn’t fully developed. Your skull isn’t fully development. So, for me, I always wondered, “Why aren’t younger kids, high school on down, wearing helmets when they play soccer?” Think about it – you’re heading the ball. This cannot be good for your head.

 

I’ve heard some people say, “Well, it would just add to the cost of the program. Let me see. We’ll pay for shoulder pads and we’ll pay for this and this…” That’s why they invented bake sales and car washes. They can just go out and raise money to buy helmets for the soccer team. This should be mandatory. Boys and girls – so many kids are playing soccer now at a young age.

 

It’s just like when many of us were kids, we didn’t ride our bikes while wearing a helmet. You didn’t wear a helmet on the bike, but now almost everybody does. Why? Because the one chance out of a thousand that you fall down and hit your head, you don’t want to end up in a wheelchair.

 

AR:  Congress is now getting involved. Taking up some legislation to kind of set some standards in schools. Start an awareness campaign. I mean, is awareness going to help reduce concussions in student athletes?

 

TP:  Well, it doesn’t hurt it. That’s for sure. Because I think what it’ll do is: that kid who had maybe two in the last two years, when he thought he was just feeling dizzy and got dinged in the head suddenly knows, “Maybe I better get this checked out.”

 

I remember this. I got hit in the head playing baseball. And I was actually glad we didn’t have a team doctor or anything at Benedictine, you know, a hundred years ago…  But the coach right away afterwards, actually he waited until the end of the game, but then he took me to the emergency room. He always said he got nervous when people got hit in the head. They ran some x-rays, you know the old thing. It showed nothing. So, I was fine. But I wondered how many coached would do that.

 

But I talked to a friend of mine who was a team doctor. He said some of the biggest pressure for kids to play with concussions came from the parents not the coaches. “Ah, get back out there,” because they don’t see it.

 

The other thing they need to do is check how the football helmets fit on these guys’ heads. Some of the concussions are caused because the helmets are not properly fitted. I don’t know all of the dynamics of that. But I know that that’s another factor there. The helmet could be too big. You know, that kind of stuff.

 

So, they have to look at those things. Those are a couple things there that aren’t going to cost a ton of money that just make some sense to do. And then, finally, I think parents, too, have to be very sympathetic when your son or daughter says, “Dad, I got hit in the head, and I don’t feel right.” That is a big warning sign.

 

AR: Well, and all you have to do is look at the Bernie Kosar’s of today who, you know, you can visibly tell on television that he’s slurring and kind of stuttering a little bit.

 

TP: Right, and the fact that, even until now, where Bernie sounded better this past year because he’s taking medication.

 

I think the thing is, if you take it seriously, and you start thinking about brain damage and memory loss, possible strokes… all kinds of things… anything that can come from this. Then, you look at it a lot… that this is a lot different than just a guy who sprained a thumb or turned an ankle.

 

AR: Terry, thanks for joining me.

 

TP: Thanks, Amanda.

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Columbus groups are trying to pass a Bill of Rights to combat fracking
Its about time we make a stand against the criminal actions of an entire Indsutry.

Crystal Ball says Ohio governor's race is done
How much is the Kasich campaign paying you to keep repeating the phrase "woman who is not his wife"? Fitzgerald was in the car with a friend who happens to be f...

Plane that crashed killing Case students is a popular training aircraft
The following is incorrect. The last few words should read "UNDER maximum gross take-off weight." “They have a normal take-off speed and all those take-off...

Exploradio: The never-ending war against superbugs
Super Federico ,we are so proud of you ,and very lucky to be among your friends . Keep it up human kind needs people like you to survive .Thanks for being so d...

Ohio's Lyme disease-carrying tick population is exploding
Interesting report. The last sentence needs some editing. It isn't a good idea to "save garments carrying ticks for analysis." The garments carrying t...

Teach for America enters third year in Ohio
For more background on TFA, check out http://reconsideringtfa.wordpress.com/

Faith leaders hold week-long prayer vigil at Ohio Statehouse
I think this is the wrong link to the audio. Its Andy Chow about cigarette taxes.

A $30 million plan to turn Cleveland's Public Square from gray to green
The current plan is for the Land Bank, RTA, and Mr. Jeremy Paris to run a bus line through the new Public Square and cutting the park in half. Save Public Squar...

Medina County residents question safety of proposed natural gas pipeline
I'm very concerned about this nexus project. I've received mail requesting my permission to allow the company to survey my property. I don't understand how thi...

A small group of tea party and Democrats protest at Kasich campaign stop
Enjoyed your excellent coverage of the statehouse for sometime now, never dreamed I'd be on. The feedback from people has been great. Thank you. Doris Adams

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University