Tuesday, March 9, 2010

HD-TV seems petty

Well alright SEC along with other conferences are going get HD-TV in the replay booth. Maybe that helps out the ‘09 LSU/ Ole Miss game, toe in or out call (That is over shadowed by Les Miles Lunacy at the end of the game). But honestly the $50k spent on the upgrade emerges as petty to me in light of a news event I first missed.

Dateline, Oxford, MS; February 19th: Ole Miss walk-on Bennie Abram collapses during workouts, and 6 hours later is pronounced dead at Baptist Memorial Hospital. Chilling, cold as the table he laid on awaiting an autopsy. Being a 5’9”/ 186 Safety, Bennie is not a bloated behemoth that gives rise to immediate suspicion. No his Achilles heel is a recessive gene, which is more stealth, more sinister, much more a silent killer.

Factoid: Since the 21st Century began THE LEADING KILLER of College Football players is …..drum roll please….. Sickle Cell Anemia. Not violence, not drugs, not on field vicious collisions like Bacarri Rambo did during the Auburn game that caused ear padding to be dislodged as well as the football from the WR. If Abrams death is ruled as being attributed to Sickle Cell, there will have been NINE deaths this century, for the non-math mentalist that averages out to almost 1 per year. For those more technically inclined, approximately 75k players in college football, approximately 60% are African American, of those the disease is in roughly 8%, so 1 out of 3,600 players will die. You have a slightly better (worse) chance of cashing out on a Mid-Day Pick 3. However, if your three picks are training, for college football and African American, you may not get another chance to roll.

The fact that the NCAA will begin to test all participants in August of this year, a FULL 35 YEARS after they were first acknowledged the problem, comes a bit late and disingenuous. (To be completely fair to Ole Miss there are reports that Bennie Abrams was tested for the disease and history of the illness disclosed to the medical staff, and furthermore the autopsy report is still pending.)

Yes serious physical injuries as a whole need further examination – Head Injuries, Concussions, Heat Stroke, and Cervical Spinal Injury. Prevention and detection of any precursors (like cardiac and sickle cell testing) of those issues should be at the forefront - not bickering over a bad insurance policy and the outcome.

Why football? Why so frequently? Notwithstanding Hank Gather’s death, which was a Cardiac Arrhythmia and not due to Sickle Cell trait, I can’t recall of another player dying from training or participating in basketball. Many of you may recall running Suicides in High School – until your coach got tried of resetting the clock or blowing the whistle. Wrestling, track and field are sports that also require training with exertion – no deaths. Why is TRAINING for college football MORE deadly THAN PLAYING?

As internet furry and criticism continues about UGA S&C program being soft/ sub-standard, as The State gravels with an estimated $1B budget short fall, and looks towards higher education to make up over a 1/3 ($350M) of that projection, as the beginning of Spring football starts, I pray that priorities and promises are kept.

1 comment:

  1. I may be wrong, but many years ago, I believe a sickle cell testing program was discussed by several state high-school athletic associations.

    To make a long story short, I believe certain political figures killed it due to invasion of privacy concerns (future insurance costs) and other sensitive issues regarding this horrible affliction.

    I had read Dodd's piece, and while I am no fan of his, I agree one life lost is one too many when it could be so easily avoided.

    I just do not believe this is a failure to prioritize budgets. The testing is not expensive, not at all. The money is there and would be gladly spent if the testing would not be vilified.

    This problem is far more complex than an accountant's abilities to appropriate.