Wolken: Fedora's Comments "Insane, Unhinged"

Larry Fedora questions the validity of CTE; well, Dan Wolken questions Fedora's intelligence

The DA Show
July 23, 2018 - 1:14 pm

USA Today Images


In recent years, football has endeavored to improve player safety, especially in light of CTE research.

UNC football coach Larry Fedora, however, seems to question the validity of CTE, saying during ACC Media Days that nothing has “proven” whether football causes the degenerative brain disease. He also said that if football continues to change its rules in the spirit of player safety, it will become unrecognizable – and if so, America “will go down, too.”

Okay then.

“No need to dance around this,” USA Today college football insider Dan Wolken wrote in a recent column. “If Fedora actually believes what he said, he’s too dumb to coach college football and should be fired immediately.”

Wolken dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Monday to discuss his column – and Fedora.

“People who like to muddy the water sometimes do it as an excuse for inaction, and I think with Larry Fedora, the idea that we don’t know everything about CTE, we understand that,” Wolken began on The DA Show. “We’re in the very beginning of understanding. The brain is a very hard thing to study. But we have seen enough, I think, that common sense would tell us when (110 out of 111) brains of former NFL players have CTE – there’s something going on here that we need to pay attention to. We don’t know everything, but we know enough to say that this is an issue that demands our attention. It demands care. And it demands talking about in a way that is serious and not discouraging science.”

Indeed, many felt Fedora’s comments fell somewhere between tone-deaf and unhinged.

“His comments about how if we change football dramatically, in 10 years we’re not going to recognize it and America is going to go down with it – which is exactly what he said – is just insane,” Wolken said. “It’s a total loss of perspective by Larry Fedora about the importance of football and what he does for a living. So I think the people who were just aghast at the comments, it wasn’t just kind of trying to muddy the waters on CTE; it was America is going to suffer as a result of eliminating kickoffs or whatever, which I just think is unhinged and ridiculous.”