Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- There are few answers tonight as to what made Former NFL great Junior Seau kill himself on Wednesday. The gunshot wound to the chest is leading some to wonder if it was intentional, so his brain could be studied for head injuries suffered while playing. And now, talks concerning the impact of concussions is growing among doctors and former players.
Former NFL and SU great Tim Green remembers suffering plenty of concussions while he was a player.
“I had concussions when I was young; I had concussions in High School; I had them in college; and I had many in the National Football League. Fortunately, I never had those concussions string together and I think that’s important,“ Green told NewsChannel 9.
To date there hasn’t been any definitive link established between concussions and depression, or dementia, but a leading expert in the field says researchers are beginning to have suspicious about things they didn’t have years ago. Director of the Upstate Sports Concussion Center Dr. Brian Rieger says there’s still a ways to go in understanding head trauma in sports.
“How do we use this to raise our concern, recognize there’s still a lot we don’t know, who’s really at risk and what are the factors that lead to this,” Dr Rieger said.
Dr Rieger says at the high school, college and professional level there's a much better recognition of head injuries and concussions, but he says there’s still one area in sports that's way behind.
"Coaches in most youth sports organizations are not required to have a course on concussions or education on concussions,” Dr. Rieger said.
Green says he’s seeing changes in the treatment of head injuries from what he experienced as a player.
“When I was playing at SU, when you got hit in the head and you were dizzy they’d say, 'how many fingers' and if you were within one, you were ready to go back out and that's just the way it was,” Green explained.
July 1 is the start of a law in New York State that will require students who may have suffered a concussion in a school sport or gym class to be sidelined for at least 24 hours.