Doctor, coach downplay concussion flap

Updated: October 22, 2010, 12:12 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

TCU team physician Dr. Sam Haraldson issued a statement Wednesday night downplaying a sideline incident with Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson that made it into a story earlier this week on the American Medical Association's website.

The story, published Monday, detailed how TCU officials dealt with an injury to running back Ed Wesley during a Sept. 24 game against SMU. Wesley was diagnosed by Haraldson with a concussion and was kept out of the remainder of the game.

"He was knocked unconscious, and any loss of consciousness is automatically considered a concussion," Haraldson said, according to amednews.com, the AMA's website. "He had an unsteady gait and a few memory problems."

The ESPN telecast of the game showed Patterson debating the issue with Haraldson.

"Then five or six plays later, I literally was verbally accosted by the coach, screaming at me insanely at the top of his lungs that he doesn't think [Wesley] has a concussion and what right do I have to hold him out," Haraldson said, according to amednews.com

On the day after the game, Patterson said: "As far as I'm concerned [Wesley] was fine 10 minutes after he was hurt."

Thursday, Patterson told Mike Tirico's Weekend Blitz on ESPN Radio: "My discussion was because of information. You're in the heat of the battle, and I had talked to the young man -- you know because of privacy laws you can't really talk about those kind of things -- but um, you know, I didn't get any information and I was trying to find out 'cause I had talked to the young man and even out on the field, and so finally I got information and then I was OK.

"I was just trying to find out. It wasn't so much about whether he played or not, because he was told he had a concussion, so he was out. But you know, I was just trying to find out information about what was going on."

Patterson later told Tirico: "You know, it's well-documented, I'm awfully intense on the sidelines, so uh, you know, everything else is fine. Our doc's a great guy and did everything appropriately on the sidelines to make sure the young man was taken care of, which we've always done here at TCU."

Two days after the story was posted on amednews.com, Haraldson issued a statement through the school downplaying the issue.

"TCU takes tremendous pride in the care it provides its student-athletes," he said. "Coach Patterson wasn't aware of the full details of the incident, and I take responsibility for that. We sat down and talked it over, and it's all been worked out. I apologized to Coach Patterson, and he apologized to me."

"Let's be clear -- we had a misunderstanding on the sideline during a very emotional football game," TCU athletics director Chris Del Conte said in a statement. "Dr. Haraldson has explained that all the full details, at the time, had not been communicated to Coach Patterson. Both Dr. Haraldson and Coach Patterson have apologized to each other and we've moved forward. We consider the matter closed."

Wesley returned to the field on Oct. 2 and has played in three games since, including a 17-carry, 115-yard effort against Wyoming on Oct. 9.

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