UNC’s Fedora critical of CTE reports


Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C.

North Carolina coach Larry Fedora said Wednesday he doesn’t believe it’s been proven that football causes the degenerative brain disease CTE and offered a passionate defense of a sport he believes is “under attack.”

Fedora, during interviews at Atlantic Coast Conference preseason media days, described the sport as an integral part of American culture and said it is “safer right now than it’s ever been,” though he acknowledged the risk of concussions in a sport featuring constant collisions.

It wasn’t clear who Fedora was referring to in saying the game was under attack, with the seventh-year Tar Heels coach noting, for example, “it’s more about people twisting data” to argue football is unsafe. He also said players should be educated on the risks of the game.

“I don’t think that the game of football, that it’s been proven that the game of football causes CTE,” Fedora said. “But that’s been put out there. We don’t really know yet.

“Are there the chances for concussions in the game of football? Yeah, we all have common sense, right? Yeah, there are. When you have two people running into each other or multiple people running into each other, there is a chance of a concussion. But again, I’m going to say, the game is safer than it’s ever been in the history of the game.”

Known to cause violent moods, depression, dementia and other cognitive difficulties, CTE has been linked to the repeated hits to the head endured by football and hockey players, boxers and members of the military. The NFL’s billion-dollar concussion settlement included payouts for a qualifying diagnosis of CTE.

UNC reports secondary NCAA violations in football

North Carolina has reported secondary violations to the NCAA within the football program involving multiple players.

In a statement Wednesday night, UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham says the NCAA has deemed the violations to be secondary in severity and that the school has “taken appropriate disciplinary action.” The statement didn’t specify the nature of that action or the violations.

Team spokesman Bobby Hundley said the violations involve multiple players, but wouldn’t specify a number. When asked about possible suspensions, Hundley said “specifics have not been finalized” and didn’t elaborate further.

WRAL TV in Raleigh first reported that the school has self-reported the violations to the NCAA, citing anonymous sources.

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