Thursday, November 23, 2017
Sports

Doctor aligned with league defends self

RECOMMENDED READING


SEATTLE — The co-chair of the NFL's head, neck and spine committee sent a letter to Congress stressing that he was not contacted during a government study on the link between football and brain disease.

That study concluded that NFL officials improperly sought to influence the findings.

Dr. Richard Ellenbogen wrote Tuesday to New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone to say that claims he and others tried to influence a National Institutes of Health grant selection are inaccurate. Ellenbogen called not being interviewed a "basic lack of fairness" and a "maligning without so much as the courtesy of a direct question to me by your staff."

Pallone said the league tried to strong-arm the NIH into taking the project away from a researcher who the NFL feared was biased.

According to the study, the NFL had agreed to donate $30 million to the NIH to fund brain research, but backed out after the institutes went ahead with a $16 million grant to prominent Boston University researcher Robert Stern. He's a leading expert on the link between football and brain diseases such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Taxpayers are instead bearing the cost.

Ellenbogen, chairman of the University of Washington Department of Neurological Surgery, criticized the study as counterproductive in efforts to understand the long-term risks of traumatic brain injury.

"To be clear, I am not and never have been paid by the NFL nor have I ever received funding through the research grant dollars in question," he said. "I am a physician on the front lines of this issue, treating kids and counseling parents every day on understanding concussions and repetitive head injury.

One section of the congressional report suggested Ellenbogen had "conflicts of interest" because he had applied for a $16 million grant that eventually went to the Boston University group.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also sharply disputed the findings of the Congressional report, released Monday.

Bubba Smith had CTE: Bubba Smith, the All-Pro defensive end in the 1960s who went on to become a movie actor, had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative brain disease linked to repeated head trauma, when he died in 2011 at age 66, the Concussion Legacy Foundation confirmed.

Opposed to N.C. law: 49ers CEO Jed York pledged $75,000 to the Equality North Carolina Foundation, an organization backing a repeal of a law he believes discriminates. The new law limits LGBT nondiscrimination protections statewide and makes transgender people use public restrooms and locker rooms aligned with their biological sex instead of the gender they identify with.

Ramsey surgery: Jaguars rookie cornerback Jalen Ramsey, a former Florida State standout, had surgery to repair torn meniscus in his right knee. The team expects him to be ready for training camp.

Comments

Ugly injury sidelines Mississippi State QB

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald sustained a gruesome right ankle injury in the first quarter that forced him to leave Thursday’s game against Mississippi. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Fitzgerald was running the ball when ...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Sports in brief

SoccerStudy to look into soccer players and brain disease LONDON — A major study into whether soccer players are at risk of degenerative brain disease was commissioned Thursday amid concerns that the sport’s authorities in England haven’t done enough...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Captain’s Corner: Switching to bottom fishing for grouper, snapper

With water temperatures falling, offshore anglers soon will have less species to target. Migratory species such as cobia, kingfish and Spanish mackerel will be migrating south for the winter. Most offshore captains will switch to bottom fishing for g...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Jon Mott wins record fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

Jon Mott wins record fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

By BOB PUTNAMCLEARWATER — The Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot has long been a fixture on Jon Mott’s sporting calendar. Not even a 103-degree fever Tuesday could keep him away from the event, in its 39th year. Mott, a record four-time 10k champion, added ...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Friday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballMissouri vs. St. John’s11 a.m.ESPNewsArkansas State at USFnoon820-AMVillanova vs. Northern IowanoonESPN2Wooden Legacy: St. Mary’s (Calif.) vs. Washington State1:30 p.m.ESPNewsTennessee vs. N.C. State2:30 p.m.ESPN2PK80: Portland...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Updated: 3 hours ago
Bucs players, coaches say they cherish getting game balls for special feats

Bucs players, coaches say they cherish getting game balls for special feats

TAMPA — In the jubilant moments after a Bucs win, Dirk Koetter will sometimes ask for a game-used ball from his equipment staff, hold it high in the locker room and present it to the player who was most crucial to the victory.NFL players can ask for ...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Latest lineNBAFavorite Line O/U Underdog Portland 3½ (211) at BROOK New York 2 (207½) at ATL at BOS 8½ (208) Orlando at O.C. 8 (204) Detroit at MINN 4 (207½) Miami Toronto 1½ (216½) at IND at CLEVE OFF (OFF) Char. at DEN 6 (208½) Mem. N.O. 6 (229) at...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Chargers pick off Cowboys

Chargers pick off Cowboys

ARLINGTON, Texas — Philip Rivers and the Chargers are on the move. Dak Prescott and the Cowboys are fading fast. Rivers threw for 434 yards and three touchdowns in his first Thanksgiving game in his 14th season and the Chargers beat the fading Cowboy...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Don’t forget Ryan Callahan in Lightning’s resurgence

Don’t forget Ryan Callahan in Lightning’s resurgence

WASHINGTON — Much has been made about the impact on the Lightning of a healthy C Steven Stamkos, who missed most of last season after knee surgery.But don’t forget about RW Ryan Callahan, 32, who is looking like his old self after hip problems plague...
Updated: 3 hours ago