In my Beyond Chron piece yesterday, I noted that Alan Schwarz, The New York Times’ concussion reporter, seems to have been taken off the beat. And indeed, Schwarz’s Twitter bio confirms that he is now the newspaper’s national education reporter.
I will seek clarification from The Times as to whether it intends to dedicate a reporter to replace Schwarz on the concussion story. During his approximately four years in that role, Schwarz was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Obviously, the valuable Times coverage of traumatic brain injuries helped create a new category of sports journalism. Let’s hope the newspaper doesn’t abandon it at the very moment when it is crystallizing in public discussion, the federal government, and the courts.
Schwarz also still has much to offer on concussions from his new platform as national education reporter. I believe the cost-benefit calculus of concussion management in high school sports programs will be in the news for years to come. It is also my contention that brain injury research soon will force a fundamental reexamination of youth football’s very place in public schools.