Middlebury College discussed on WWL Programming

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

So former athlete at Middlebury College is not the first athlete who played contact sports who took his own life he is also not the first twenty something to struggle with mental health problems but his story illustrates the challenges parents face as they decide whether to let their sons and daughters play contact sports as well as deciphering conflicting messages from scientists in sports leagues about head trauma an in depth look at concussions from Nancy armor columnist at USA today sports Nancy set this up this is a story about Matthew Benedict who played it basically all contact sports growing up top football hockey lacrosse you can stand out there at Middlebury College and he and I'm in July he committed suicide he jumped off the seventeenth floor of the building where he was working and his parents while his brain was not able to be had we pretty hot at and they think that it was the culmination of picked that he took over his ears and playing contact sports and when he died he was only twenty six six week China twenty seventh but that what I thought was interesting in your story too and I guess perhaps disappointing from a medical standpoint is that C. T. eat can only be diagnosed during an op during autopsy yeah and that is one of the things you know there's there still is so much about the heat that we don't know on you know most researchers will say that there is a link between a pattern that had Tom at UNCG exactly what the windows they're still trying to find out and part of that is going to be finding a leading diagnosed and researchers think that they're getting closer right they're still not there yet and until we have that we can't answer all the questions like if somebody predispose what wrong genetics play can alcoholic drug drug use if there is any accelerate the progression of the disease there's there's still a lot that we need to find out and getting a living diagnosis is key to pretty much all of those questions boy is disappointing to I guess that there's still a stigma attached to this as I guess the the as the Benedicts found out right yeah map you wrote a very personal aspect a couple days after he graduated from Middlebury and he had been struggling with mental health issues is your speed at which his parents were in the title game one he had to really hard to get and they believe that he had post concussion syndrome as a result right he wrote that that they and just really they were very openly and very honestly talked about the issues that it had if you want to be a failure his need to talk about a couple of times that you need but whether they were officially need to reply to come so order just you know whatever wise you would open about it and while some people party from quiet there are other people who were saying you should be writing like that you know whether it's because of the school one S. adjustment to school could've been doing wanted to adopt Michael how or just not definition put it out there because it's become players might yet while and after that you really withdrew that he you know he he he said who have struggled with mental illness so that people would die if you didn't know him well you wouldn't know that anything was wrong speak with Nancy armor columnist at USA today sports she's written a powerful piece entitled concussions and contact sports what these parents learned from their son's death what struck me too was would seem like a sudden change in personality for Mr Benedict was at the age of twenty one right we came home one Christmas break anybody but normally the life of the the Christmas spirit was completely removed yeah and his parents and was very very very much that he would would drop in the family his mom said that oftentimes you go upstairs actors room and she even just sitting on the bed and she could that wasn't her son and her older sister that he had been in a funk for more than a month so it it can ballot to rapidly and they work mightily to get help but you know unfortunately that is this is an insidious disease and that's how we start bringing it into the light I think we're gonna have stories like that for the parents of Mr Benedict I I don't want to say their messages or guess what their messages that it might be like don't play contact sports of what they say I remember just to follow you they both say that if they had to do it over and there they were boys would not have played sports what how much contact sports at the age that they did you know they started playing when they were six and seven your call okay and it's not just football that's that's one of the really big tech way through your story is that it is not just a product that people need to be concerned about but also to the Benedicts want to remove the stigma especially among young people that they know that they are free to if they are struggling that they are free to go and seek help or that they will approach somebody that they will feel that they need to hide the great issues that they're having and and that they can go and talk to somebody is Nancy Nancy armor columnist at USA today sports twelve minutes now after the hour on this weekend coming up next the number one stressor in the lives of most Americans when you're diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer a lot of questions run through your.

Coming up next