Former Athlete Chris Nowinski Discusses Brain Trauma
Former Harvard University football player Chris Nowinski estimates that he suffered at least five concussions by the time an opponent's boot to the chin knocked him out of professional wrestling in June 2003. Nowinski has since overcome (with the aid of a daily stimulant) persistent issues with memory and focus to author the 2006 book Head Games: Football's Concussion Crisis. A year later, he co-founded the Sports Legacy Institute in partnership with Boston University, where he is pursuing his doctorate in behavioral neuroscience. With Nowinski making the calls for donations, SLI has secured and studied the brains of 85 deceased athletes and military personnel for evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a neurodegenerative disease brought on by repeated blows to the head. Paul Steinbach asked the 33-year-old Nowinski, who sat on the committee that led to a change this season in the way Ivy League schools conduct football practices, about his own current state of mind.
Q: What do you think about former players suing the NFL, alleging
the league withheld intelligence about head injuries for decades?
Q: Is legislation an effective vehicle for changing the way sports are conducted?
Q: Do those who argue that youth and even high school football should be abolished altogether have a point?
Q: Are you at all fearful for your own future mental health?
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Ithaca College Athletics and Events Center