3 High School Football Players Have Died in the Past Week
One week, three deaths.
All teenagers, all of whom collapsed on the field in their high school football uniforms.
Isaiah Langston, a junior at Rolesville High School in North Carolina, collapsed before a game last Friday. He died Monday morning, according to local CBS affiliate WSPA. Langston’s official cause of death has not been released, but his older brother told a local ABC affiliate that his collapse “had something to do with a blood clot in his brain.”
Langston was 17 years old.
On the same day that Langston collapsed, a high school football player in Troy, Alabama, named Demario Harris, Jr., collapsed on the field after making a tackle during a game. He was pronounced dead on Sunday. Harris’ coach told AL.com that the player suffered a brain aneurysm, which indicated his death was not football-related.
According to AL.com, however, Harris’ father said in a Facebook post that “contrary to various media reports, my son had a brain hemorrhage, not an aneurysm, that was caused by a hit he took during Friday’s game. He may have had a pre-existing condition, but there is no way to tell now.”
Harris was 17 years old.
The third death came Wednesday night. Tom Cutinella, a high school football player for Shoreham-Wading River High School in Shoreham, New York, died after collapsing on the field during a a game following a collision with another player. His cause of death will be released only to his family, according to The New York Times.
Cutinella was 16 years old.
While it would be speculative to blame the deaths of all three players solely on football, their deaths come as the short and longterm health-impacts of football are coming under increasing scrutiny.
A federal judge in July approved a massive class-action settlement for former NFL players against the league for head trauma sustained during their playing careers. Two starting quarterbacks for major college programs retired from the game in September because of concussions.
And Time magazine’s Sept. 19 issue featured a powerful cover asking, simply, “Is football worth it?”
Pictured on that cover was Chad Stover, a defensive back at Tipton High School in Missouri, who died after suffering a traumatic brain injury during a state playoff game last season.
Stover was 16 years old.
— TIME.com (@TIME) September 18, 2014
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