Tennessee teen's death shows lingering brain injury risks

Posted By Kinnard, Clayton & Beveridge || Apr 2, 2014

For many young people, being able to participate in organized athletic activities is very important. Parents appreciate the physical activity and discipline that sports can provide and kids enjoy the camaraderie they develop with teammates.

Over the last few years, however, there have been serious concerns about the safety of many youth athletic events, particularly football. Any activity that involves so much physical contact obviously puts participants -- whether they are children or adults -- at serious risk of injury. In an article published on our site in 2011, we discussed proposed legislation to increase the effectiveness of helmets in youth

For many young people, being able to participate in organized athletic activities is very important. Parents appreciate the physical activity and discipline that sports can provide and kids enjoy the camaraderie they develop with teammates.

Over the last few years, however, there have been serious concerns about the safety of many youth athletic events, particularly football. Any activity that involves so much physical contact obviously puts participants -- whether they are children or adults -- at serious risk of injury. In an article published on our site in 2011, we discussed proposed legislation to increase the effectiveness of helmets in youth sports. Years later, the bill hasn't passed, but the problem persists.

In 2012, a Tennessee high school running back gained notoriety for racking up more than 2,000 yards on the field. That same year, the 17-year-old boy suffered a serious brain injury that required hospitalization. Two years later, he was cleared to play football for the Naval Academy.

Just recently, the former Tennessee football star collapsed during a Navy football practice. Although the teen didn't sustain any serious or unusual contact during the practice, he still ran into serious medical trouble. Shortly after collapsing, he fell into a coma and died days later.

Although the young man's exact cause of death isn't clear, the fact that he didn't sustain a heavy hit during practice raises questions about his high school brain injury. The impact of head injuries may be felt years after they are sustained.

Parents of young athletes only want their children to be safe -- and rightfully so. Despite the risks involved in high-contact sports, it's unfortunate that more hasn't been done to improve the safety of kids who want to participate at an amateur level.

sports. Years later, the bill hasn't passed, but the problem persists.

In 2012, a Tennessee high school running back gained notoriety for racking up more than 2,000 yards on the field. That same year, the 17-year-old boy suffered a serious brain injury that required hospitalization. Two years later, he was cleared to play football for the Naval Academy.

Just recently, the former Tennessee football star collapsed during a Navy football practice. Although the teen didn't sustain any serious or unusual contact during the practice, he still ran into serious medical trouble. Shortly after collapsing, he fell into a coma and died days later.

Although the young man's exact cause of death isn't clear, the fact that he didn't sustain a heavy hit during practice raises questions about his high school brain injury. The impact of head injuries may be felt years after they are sustained.

Parents of young athletes only want their children to be safe -- and rightfully so. Despite the risks involved in high-contact sports, it's unfortunate that more hasn't been done to improve the safety of kids who want to participate at an amateur level.

Categories: Wrongful Death
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