Concussion Inc.’s ebook THE TED AGU PAPERS: A Black Life That Mattered — And the Secret History of a Covered-Up Death in University of California Football is available on Kindle-friendly devices at http://amzn.to/2aA2LDl. One hundred percent of royalties are being donated to sickle cell trait research and education.
by Irvin Muchnick
A number of readers are noticing that this shocking new story, from The Oregonian, strikes at the heart of our themes:
“At least three Oregon Ducks football players were hospitalized after enduring a series of grueling strength and conditioning workouts at UO last week, The Oregonian/OregonLive has learned.
Offensive linemen Doug Brenner and Sam Poutasi and tight end Cam McCormick are in fair condition and remained at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend in Springfield on Monday, a hospital spokeswoman said. They have been in the hospital since late last week after workouts that occurred during the team’s return from holiday break.”
The Oregon incident does not involve sickle cell anemia trait attacks — like the one that cost Ted Agu his life in Berkeley in 2014. But the culture of overtraining to the point of death is identical.
In evidence in Oregon is a condition called rhabdomyolysis, in which rapid muscle breakdown causes intense pain, weakness, vomiting, and disorientation. Medical monitors say this is the sixth known outbreak of the syndrome in recent years on football teams: three college, three high school.
Yet another scourge is compartment syndrome. This results from a buildup of excessive pressure inside an enclosed muscle space, usually after bleeding or swelling from an injury. The worst cases can result in permanent liver or kidney damage.
A former major college football team doctor comments: “What happens is that rockhead coaches push their athletes way too hard. Often you see this in football after a losing season and with the hire of new coaches, and with the conclusion by the coaches that they lost because the players were ‘pussies.’ So punish them hard and fast with insane workouts — too much, too fast, too long — when they get back from winter break, and those who live through it will learn their lesson once and for all.”
Concussion Inc.’s friend Matt Chaney, the Cassandra of football harm, says, “Learning more about rhabdo and compartment syndrome instills a strong ‘exertional’ component in our understanding of the sport’s casualties. We are already very familiar with the ‘trauma’ component.”
“Explainer: How ‘Insider’ Access Made San Francisco Chronicle and Berkeley J-School Miss Real Story Behind Death of Cal Football’s Ted Agu,” https://concussioninc.net/?p=10931
Complete headline links to our Ted Agu series: https://concussioninc.net/?p=10877