N.J. Rep. asks Jim Delany to investigate handling of Shane Morris

Wednesday October 1st, 2014

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) called on Big Ten Conference Commissioner Jim Delany Tuesday to investigate the University of Michigan’s handling of concussed quarterback Shane Morris’ during the school’s football game Saturday against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. 

“I strongly urge you to investigate the circumstances surrounding Shane Morris's injury and the decision to return him to play,” Rep. Pascrell said, according to a report from CBS Sports citing a letter from Pascrell’s office.

"I also urge you to establish penalties for violations of concussion protocols. Every concussion is brain damage and must be diagnosed and treated by appropriate medical personnel, who prioritize players' health, safety, and well-being," the congressman said. Rep. Pascrell is the Co-founder and Co-chair of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force. 

Morris exited the game after suffering a visibly crushing hit that left him disoriented and being unable to stand without the help of two teammates. He was reinserted into the game without being examined for a concussion. Michigan coach Brady Hoke said the team was under the impression Morris’ injury was an ankle injury. 

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Pascrell’s letter comes in the wake of a statement from Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon released in the wee hours of Tuesday morning apologizing for “the mistakes that were made,” and admitting Morris suffered a “probable, mild concussion.” 

The off-field miscue with Morris comes at a time when Michigan has suffered early season blowout losses on the field to the likes of Utah, Minnesota and Notre Dame

Adding to the pressure on the program Tuesday was the decommitment of Darian Roseboro, the nation’s sixth-ranked high school defensive tackle. Roseboro did not indicate the reason why he decommitted from the team. 

On Tuesday, thousands of students orchestrated a protest outside of Michigan president Mark Schlissel’s house calling for Brandon to be fired. A petition attempting to achieve the same aim had amassed nearly 10,000 signatures Tuesday. 

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- Will Green

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