Matt Scott's apparent concussion will be an underlying story line after the Arizona Wildcats' 39-36 victory against the USC Trojans on Saturday. And it should, because player safety, head injuries especially, should come before winning.
Scott will be further evaluated as Arizona begins preparations for the UCLA Bruins next week, Finley reports.
Scott was clearly shaken up after sliding on an 8-yard run that placed the ball on USC 9-yard line with UA leading 32-28. Arizona called a timeout with 7:13 remaining in the game after Scott was seen vomiting on the field following the hit.
Now, it'll be interesting to see if the NCAA comes down on Rich Rodriguez for handling the situation.
The NCAA has groundwork for dealing with concussions, and there's specific wordage that tells coaches not to let a player shake off concussion symptoms. This article at Forbes details that -- a very valid point -- but the same article points to my game recap insinuating that I "celebrated" Scott playing through a concussion.
I don't think I did that. I thought my comments about Scott leaving four plays too late made that clear -- apparently it wasn't.
I did, however, celebrate a kid that was thickheaded enough to play through it. The adage that a player will run through a wall for his teammates was true, and Scott was indeed risking his own health. But it's not on Scott to make the call; it's on the coaches.
Of course, it was likely that Scott has a concussion. The unanimous reaction in our game thread was to pull the starting quarterback then and there -- Rodriguez didn't as Scott somehow avoided a thorough evaluation during the timeout. He didn't look completely out of it, and even showed alertness on the next three plays that included a -1-yard rush and a touchdown throw to David Richards.
That doesn't mean he was "fine", however.
In the heat of the moment, Rodriguez and his staff overlooked Scott's health. Putting a player in the position to get hit after an initial concussion probably lends itself to even worse of a concussion (see Tuitama, Willie).
We're probably going to find out that Scott has a concussion. He wasn't allowed to speak to the media after the game, and there's even the possibility he won't be able to go against UCLA.