Harvard is educating players on concussions, but repeated hits to the head still a concern

–Jim Rogash / Getty Images

Harvard University, along with the rest of the Ivy League, is trying to get rid of the pressure felt by student athletes to keep playing even if they are experiencing symptoms after a possible concussion, according to a report by WBUR.

Nick Burrello, a fifth-year senior due to a concussion on the football field, told the station his head coach Tim Murphy encourages his players to report concussions.

“The hardest pressure to overcome is peer pressure, and the peers really care for you here,’’ Burrello told WBUR. “There is a sense of brotherhood and camaraderie here that’s formed from the top down, from Coach Murphy down. He preaches family, brotherhood, and we really take that to heart. So if you are hurting, there’s players on the team that’ll take you on the side, your best friends, guys who are going to be in your wedding, will be like: ‘Listen, your health comes first.’ ’’

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Harvard also limits full-contact practices to two days a week, partially due to the concern over sub-concussive hits.

Those are the hits that Robert Cantu, co-director of Boston University’s Center for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy — the progressive degenerative disease that can be caused by repeated concussions, thinks should be getting more attention, according to WBUR.

“I see the sub-concussive issue as the elephant in the room, in the sense that it’s less well understood,’’ Cantu told WBUR.

Read, or listen to, the full WBUR report here.

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