Will ESPN’s ‘Outside the Lines’ Just Recycle the Boilerplate Riddell Helmet Story? Or Will They Nail UPMC and Dr. Maroon?

ImPACT / UPMC Flashback: Complete Coverage of the October Senate Commerce Committee Hearing
January 26, 2012
Sadly, ESPN Doesn’t Lay a Glove on Dr. Maroon, UPMC
January 29, 2012

ESPN’s sporadically excellent investigative series, Outside the Lines, is advertising a piece on Sunday’s edition (9 a.m. Eastern time) about Senator Tom Udall and the Federal Trade Commission’s investigations of the allegedly deceptive promotional claims of the Riddell helmet company. The reporter is Peter Keating, who is top-notch.

But when I watch, I’ll be looking to see if ESPN serves up the same old stuff Alan Schwarz of The New York Times wrote about last year: Riddell’s out-of-context quote from a research paper co-authored by Dr. Joseph Maroon – team neurosurgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers, co-founder of ImPACT Applications, Inc., and a tireless “Concussion Inc.” entrepreneur and self-promoter who consistently has it both ways, with profits, in the public debate over traumatic brain injury in football.

In the past, Keating has written compellingly of the blatant commercial conflicts of interest of Maroon’s research team at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, which has included two of his ImPACT “concussion management system” co-owners: Mark Lovell and Micky Collins. So I am hopeful that Outside the Lines will do more than just point a camera at Senator Udall and let him bloviate about Riddell, a relatively small fish in this rancid pond.

I hope Keating and his crew also ask why Udall and the Senate Commerce Committee gave Maroon, UPMC, and ImPACT a pass at the October hearing devoted to exposing purported “anti-concussion” products that do little other than exploit the fears of young athletes and their parents.

Want more on the real Riddell scandal, which goes all the way up the food chain to the National Football League’s funding of the company’s overhyped research, as well as other UPMC overhyped research and ethically dubious experts?

Read all about it here, here, here, here, here, and here.

The second title of the Concussion Inc. ebook shorts series, UPMC: Concussion Scandal Ground Zero, is now available for $1.49 on Amazon Kindle, http://amzn.to/A0HQ2g, or as a simple PDF file by remitting $1.49 to paypal@muchnick.net. Our third ebook title, George Visger’s OUT OF MY HEAD: My Life In and Out of Football, is being readied for loading onto Amazon; we should be announcing its publication within days.


Irv Muchnick

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Concussion Inc. - Author Irvin Muchnick