Previously, I have tipped my hat to the reporting on the concussion issue by Alan Schwarz of The New York Times. Another journalistic giant on this story has been Peter Keating of ESPN The Magazine. More than three years ago, Keating looked into the mutually back-scratching relationships of the National Football League, neurological researchers, and the entrepreneurs of Dr. Joseph Maroon’s Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing system and their Pittsburgh company, imPACT Applications.
See the Keating article “NFL concussions expert also sells equipment to league,” August 10, 2007, http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2967678.
This story is more focused on Maroon’s imPACT partner and co-founder, Dr. Mark Lovell, another University of Pittsburgh Medical Center-based NFL consultant. But it lays out the whole shady chain of events, including how Maroon and a third imPACT partner, Michael Collins (also from the Pitt team), glowingly peer-reviewed the oft-cited study, co-authored by Lovell, in the February 2006 issue of the journal Neurosurgery.
As someone who spent all of 2010 trying, without success, to elicit comment from Maroon or Pitt, I was struck by how Lovell never responded to questions or made himself available for an interview on ESPN’s Outside the Lines. A medical center spokeswoman gave Keating this lame quote: “These are very important issues that are too complicated to address in an edited 10-second sound-bite.”
Since the publication of Keating’s article, we all know a lot more:
Senator Udall has opened the door a crack on a sordid tale of industrial death in the pro wrestling industry, and how the causes and costs resonate throughout the world of sports and American society.
In 2011, it will be up to Udall, Senator Richard Blumenthal, and others in the 112th Congress to kick that door wide open.
In the next post I will publish a rundown of this blog’s coverage of Dr. Joseph Maroon.