Football coach faces backlash over CTE remark

University of North Carolina football coach Larry Fedora is under fire after he questioned the validity of studies on chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain illness that affects players.

Posted: Jul 20, 2018 6:43 AM
Updated: Jul 20, 2018 7:03 AM

University of North Carolina football coach Larry Fedora is under fire after he questioned the validity of studies on a degenerative brain illness that affects players.

Fedora also said that football is "under attack" while answering questions Wednesday during the Atlantic Coast Conference Media Days in Charlotte.

"I fear the game will be pushed so far to one extreme that you won't recognize the game 10 years from now. And I do believe that if it gets to that point, that our country goes down, too," he said.

Fedora said he's not convinced a link between chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, and football has been proven, according to CNN affiliate WTVD.

"I can take the data and I can make it look one way, and you can take the data and make it look another way, and whoever is presenting it is the one that gets the say-so," he said.

CTE starts after repeated head trauma

CTE is a degenerative brain disease that often starts after repeated head trauma.

Fedora's comments especially raised eyebrows because the university's Kevin Guskiewicz is a leading researcher and nationally recognized expert on sport-related concussions.

In a separate interview later, Fedora tried to clarify himself.

"I'm not sure that anything is proven that football, itself, causes (CTE)," Fedora said, according to the affiliate.

"My understanding is repeated blows to the head cause it, so I'm assuming that every sport, football included, could be a problem with that if you've got any kind of contact. That doesn't diminish the fact that the game is still safer than it's ever been because we continue to tweak the game to try to make it safer for our players."

NFL has admitted there's a connection

Fedora also said he once asked a three-star general what makes the US military the best in the world. He said the general told him the answer was football.

"He said, 'Most of, all of our troops have grown up and played the game at some point in their life at some level and the lessons that they learned from that game is what makes us who we are,' " Fedora said, without naming the general.

In a study published last year, CTE was found in 99% of deceased NFL players' brains that were donated to scientific research.

The neurodegenerative brain disease can be found in people who have been exposed to repeated head trauma. The disease causes symptoms that include memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, aggression, depression, anxiety, impulse control issues and sometimes suicidal behavior.

It can only be formally diagnosed with an autopsy, and most cases, although not all, have been seen in either veterans or people who played contact sports, particularly American football.

Two years ago, the NFL publicly acknowledged for the first time a connection between football and CTE.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 306538

Reported Deaths: 5435
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion41953849
Lake26872453
Allen17621295
Elkhart16905219
St. Joseph16524223
Hamilton12696167
Vanderburgh9552115
Tippecanoe844927
Porter813785
Johnson6231165
Vigo597979
Hendricks5944156
Monroe530349
Clark504077
Madison4858121
Delaware4820103
LaPorte457194
Kosciusko455739
Howard334975
Warrick319572
Floyd311477
Bartholomew308462
Wayne301367
Cass295831
Marshall293744
Grant262949
Noble249846
Hancock246551
Boone240254
Henry240237
Dubois234631
Dearborn215730
Jackson212633
Morgan204443
Gibson181725
Knox181419
Shelby178254
Clinton177821
Lawrence174047
DeKalb172829
Adams166422
Wabash158020
Miami157814
Daviess154643
Fayette147733
Steuben143513
Jasper142111
Harrison141824
LaGrange140129
Montgomery139027
Whitley133412
Ripley128114
Decatur124643
Huntington123510
Putnam123027
Randolph120719
Wells120428
White120321
Clay119822
Posey119616
Jefferson116216
Scott103219
Greene101353
Jay96413
Starke90621
Sullivan88916
Fulton83518
Jennings83214
Spencer8198
Perry81521
Fountain7738
Washington7417
Franklin68626
Carroll67913
Orange66628
Vermillion5993
Owen5987
Parke5606
Newton55312
Tipton55226
Rush5317
Blackford51912
Pike50318
Pulaski37710
Martin3515
Benton3362
Brown3353
Crawford2881
Union2671
Switzerland2555
Warren2382
Ohio2307
Unassigned0266

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 371840

Reported Deaths: 6100
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin50231667
Cuyahoga36047741
Hamilton29931372
Montgomery20065228
Butler14769146
Lucas14317414
Summit13388316
Stark8792197
Warren819175
Mahoning7276299
Lake682666
Lorain643499
Clermont577248
Delaware556436
Licking549276
Fairfield538464
Trumbull5305147
Greene522364
Clark511464
Allen465485
Marion465251
Wood4491107
Medina447756
Miami425867
Pickaway399348
Columbiana347297
Portage344872
Tuscarawas328658
Wayne318793
Richland316638
Mercer289945
Hancock241337
Ross240759
Muskingum240210
Auglaize231031
Putnam224749
Erie224266
Darke223559
Ashtabula223253
Geauga203351
Scioto195915
Union19118
Shelby190615
Lawrence189438
Athens18864
Seneca180018
Belmont164929
Madison158918
Sandusky154229
Preble152621
Huron152318
Defiance139522
Holmes139139
Logan127816
Knox126318
Fulton124525
Washington121927
Crawford121516
Ottawa121130
Clinton106714
Williams10579
Ashland105222
Highland101317
Jefferson10124
Henry100023
Brown9925
Champaign9475
Jackson93112
Hardin91019
Fayette90317
Van Wert8976
Morrow8882
Guernsey83914
Coshocton82613
Perry78712
Adams78313
Pike7451
Gallia73513
Wyandot71216
Paulding64611
Hocking62616
Noble60223
Carroll45710
Meigs39012
Monroe31821
Morgan2575
Vinton2195
Harrison2023
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Overcast
46° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 41°
Angola
45° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 40°
Huntington
Overcast
46° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 40°
Decatur
Overcast
48° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 43°
Van Wert
Overcast
48° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 43°
Cloudy Thanksgiving
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events