The Ohio State athletic department pushes its athletes to be ready to go as hard as they can for as long as they can. But what happens when they get injured? What happens when they can’t “go” anymore? Does OSU jeopardize these young athletes’ health for the sake of a great season or a championship?
With all of the injuries we have seen lately to OSU student-athletes, I am starting to think the school is rushing its athletes back onto the field or the court too soon.
After hearing the devastating news about senior quarterback Braxton Miller’s season-ending shoulder injury during fall practice, I was shocked. I couldn’t help but think how this happened so soon after he just had surgery on the same shoulder in the offseason.
Despite all of the interviews and the media saying he was 100 percent, did the coaches and training staff believe he was really ready to hit the field in a gamelike atmosphere?
And Miller’s second injury to the same shoulder isn’t the first time an OSU athlete has had a repeat health problem.
Kalpana Beach, a redshirt-sophomore forward for the women’s basketball team who I know through a friend, tore her anterior cruciate ligament not once, but twice. Kyle Berger, a freshman linebacker on the football team, tore his ACL for the second time in the past year as well.
Although I’m sure OSU does a great job getting these athletes the proper medical attention and proper rehab, I think the athletes are pushed and pressured to get back as quickly as possible. Play through the pain, rush back from the injury, be a warrior — I believe that’s probably the type of mentality OSU instills in its athletes.
I think this mentality has changed the thought pattern of many of student-athletes. If you are a key player to the team, you feel pressured to rush back and be there for your team and your coaches. And if you aren’t a key player, you might feel as though you haven’t proved yourself yet, so you can’t be out injured for too long.
Regardless of who or what the Buckeyes need to win championships, the long-term effects of rushing the healing process can ultimately affect future athletic careers and lifestyles. You have to think: what is it going to be like for these athletes when they’re 40?
These student-athletes have been going so hard at their sport for years, and I believe it’s taking a toll on their bodies. Without the proper time to heal and recover from injuries, they could possibly look back one day and regret it.