Nearly half of the major-college football trainers who responded to a recent Chronicle survey say they have felt pressure from football coaches to return concussed players to action before they were medically ready. The respondents included 101 head athletic trainers, head football trainers, and other sports-medicine professionals from the highest rung of college football, the NCAA’s Football Bowl Subdivision.
The Chronicle of Higher Education has a report looking at how college football trainers, who determine whether or not athletes are medically ready to play again after sustaining injuries, often butt heads with coaches who want their star players to have as much game time as possible, and who have taken career hits over disagreements on when to send a player back in:
Two former athletic trainers in the Pac-12 Conference described how they had lost their jobs after clashing with coaches over concussion treatment. “It was scary,” said one trainer, who left a prominent California university over the conflict. “It was uncomfortably close to infringing on the medical well-being of the athlete.”