How Michigan Wolverine quarterback Wilton Speight’s injuries were treated is calling into question the overall state of Purdue’s facilities, as well as visiting locker rooms across the Big Ten.
Speight suffered three cracked vertebrae when he was sacked during a Sept. 23 game at Purdue’s Ross-Ade Stadium. Following the game, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh expressed his frustration over the state of the stadium’s locker rooms and equipment. Harbaugh said the locker room did not have adequate cooling, and noted that the medical table for injured players looked like something “from the 20s.”
Speight also had to be transported by a van to an off-site student health center for an x-ray.
Harbaugh called the poor state of visiting locker rooms across the Big Ten an attempt at “gamesmanship,” arguing that a line needs to be drawn when it comes to providing adequate medical care for visiting players. Concerns about the problem have now been raised at a meeting of Big Ten athletic directors and the discussion is ongoing.
Speight’s parents, Bobby and Martha, have now come forward, detailing their experience as they tried to help their son get the medical attention he needed.
Bobby Speight, Wilton’s father, called the experience “an absolute train wreck,” according to a report from The Detroit News. “Even in high school I had never been in a visiting locker room that bad. It was dark, dingy, dirty,” he said.
The Speights decried the lack of urgency from medical staff, noting that they waited 20 minutes for the rescue squad team and the ambulance did not have a police escort. Once they did reach the facility where Speight was examined treatment was lackluster.
Bobby Speight said that when Wilton was being recruited he put an emphasis on programs with excellent medical facilities, noting that he would cross of teams without a “high-end medical program.” He hopes the ordeal sets in motion actions that will make things better. “I know Wilton is going to be fine in the long run,” he said. “Hopefully this will change some things in the Big Ten. I don’t want my kids to get hurt again, but if it does happen, I hope it happens in Ann Arbor.”
Wilton Speight has a “good chance” of returning to action this season.