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Congressman wants Big Ten to investigate U of M concussion controversy

Sep 30, 2014

The University of Michigan’s concussion controversy has reached the halls of Congress.

A New Jersey congressman wants the Big Ten conference to investigate the University of Michigan’s compliance with its own head injury protocols.

“You got to prevent these things from happening," says Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-New Jersey. "You certainly don’t send a player back in after he’s had a concussion.”
Credit Pascrell office

The university is under fire for allowing a player return to the field during a football game Saturday after he suffered a mild concussion. Quarterback Shane Morris appeared to be dazed after a hard hit in the second half of the game against Minnesota. 

Morris was not evaluated for a possible concussion until after the game. It wasn’t until early Tuesday morning before the university confirmed Morris had in fact suffered a concussion. 

Representative Bill Pascrell is the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force. His northern New Jersey district includes Rutgers University, a new addition to the Big Ten. 

Pascrell credits U of M for having a head trauma protocol. He just wishes it was used during the game.

“We should know if we are going to establish protocols they must be followed,” says Pascrell, “And if they are not followed then something needs to be followed or else what the heck to we have mandatory protocols for.”

U of M Athletic Director Dave Brandon blamed communication problems for allowing quarterback Shane Morris to return to Saturday’s game after his concussion.

A Big Ten spokesman says the conference has been in contact with U of M about its student-athlete safety issues.

“The Big Ten … supports their efforts to improve procedures to ensure the health and safety of student-athletes,” says conference spokesman Scott Chipman.