Wow. I wasn't paying as close attention to the Arizona-Southern Cal game until the very end after our game was over. So I complete missed this sequence of events:
In the fourth quarter of Saturday's game, Arizona QB Matt Scott was kicked in the head while sliding during a play. Scott immediately began vomiting on the sidelines, repeatedly, as the game went to commercial.
Scott was showing tell-tale signs of concussion, and the NCAA-which is being sued for failing to implement appropriate concussion screening, return-to-play guidelines, and other safety measures-is pretty clear on what coaches should do next: "Take [an athlete] out of play immediately and allow adequate time for evaluation by a health care professional experienced in evaluating for concussion." As one NCAA factsheet reads,
1. Remove the student-athlete from play...Do not allow the student-athlete to just "shake it off." Each individual athlete will respond to concussions differently.
2. Ensure that the student-athlete is evaluated right away by an appropriate health care professional.
3. Allow the student-athlete to return to play only with permission from a health care professional with experience in evaluating for concussion.
However, well-paid Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez and his staff did none of those things. Instead, Scott stayed in the game-and even threw a touchdown pass-before finally going to the sidelines, apparently vomiting again, and being evaluated by trainers for a head injury. Not surprisingly, once Scott was actually forced to undergo a concussion test, he was immediately removed from the game.
If this is true that looks really bad and once again is in dramatic contrast to how Coach Jim Mora has handled concussion related issues at UCLA (remember Capella still hasn't been allowed to return to practice).
The irony here is this took place against the team with a head coach who showed same disregard for the safety and well being of his players, when Hello Kiffin kept Robert Woods in the game even after he took brutal shot to the head during Utah. Either way - this is really terrible and makes Rich Rod look pretty sleazy.
It will be interesting of Rich Rod trots out Matt Scott for our game on Saturday. The choice seem to be obvious one. It would certainly be for Jim Mora and UCLA if we were in the same situation.