Rethinking Protocols

November 20, 2018

Medically, the Bowling Green State University sports medicine staff did everything right when redshirt sophomore starting center Caleb Bright suffered heat stroke during a game at Georgia Tech Sept. 29. In fact, administrators and Bright’s parents are saying that he might not be alive today if not for their excellent care. So how did the situation lead to disappointment, anger, high-level staff meetings, and a comprehensive reevaluation of protocols?

According to The Blade, the school’s sports medicine staff left out one key ingredient while providing care—they forgot to adequately support Bright and his family emotionally regarding his hospital stay. After the game, the staff realized that Bright was in trouble when he began showing signs of heat distress. They correctly identified the problem, got him into an ice bath, and had him transported by ambulance to the hospital. However, once athletic trainers and coaches established that Bright was being cared for by hospital staff, they left the hospital and headed back to Bowling Green. Bright and his parents, who had been visiting for the game, were left alone to deal with the rest of the situation.

Not having at least one member of the football staff present to support their son through his 24-hour hospital stay did not feel acceptable to Scott Bright, Caleb’s father.

“As parents, we were very frustrated on how this situation was handled,” he said. “We wanted to make sure there are policies and procedures in place so another family doesn’t have to go through what we went through.”

In the week after the incident, Scott Bright brought his concerns to Bowling Green, asking to meet with senior administrators to talk about what had happened. Bowling Green agreed and called a meeting with the parents, athletic department heads, the school’s team physician, and the president of the university.

As a result of the meeting, university officials unanimously and publicly agreed that their staff dropped the ball during the incident.

“In hindsight, we recognize the protocols fall short in the human element in our own expectations of providing a great student-athlete experience,” said Bob Moosbrugger, Athletic Director at Bowling Green. “We could have provided more support for Caleb and his family at that time.”

In response, the school is reevaluating its policies and procedures for incidents when student-athletes are hospitalized and will make changes.

“Discussions are ongoing about updating our protocol,” Moosbrugger said. “In the future, we would consider, if the student-athlete cannot return home with the team, a full-time member of the athletic training staff, administration, or coaching staff will remain behind to support the student-athlete and their family.

“In hindsight, we’ve taken a look at it, we’ve talked about it a lot, and definitely feel that we can improve on making that support that the player and the parents want and need,” he added. 

SEARCH for Products
SEARCH for Vendors

Lockers That Work

Looking for lockers for your team rooms? All-Star sport lockers from List Industries have raised the bar with their quality, functionality, and durability. All-Star locker feature List’s exclusive Hollow-T framing system that has ½” 13-gauge flattened expanded metal sides for maximum ventilation, safety, and rigidity. Plus, interlocking body components create a sturdy sports locker that … CLICK TO READ MORE...

Moving Up to the Pros

After years of success serving the college athletic market, G2L Window Systems got the call up to the pros. A G2L system was installed in one of the suites at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles. G2L Window Systems feature frameless, open-air design that allows fans to enjoy the sounds and smells of … CLICK TO READ MORE...

Record Boards Suited for the Diamond

Baseball and softball season is just around the corner, so this a perfect time to think about the best way celebrate the accomplishments of these teams. Austin Plastics & Supply offers a large variety of record display boards designed specifically for baseball and softball. Most focus on individual season and career records for pitching and … CLICK TO READ MORE...

MSSU’s Design Continues to Inspire

To this day, Samson Equipment’s completed project at Missouri Southern State University (MSSU) remains one of the company’s favorite state-of-the-art weight training facility remodels of all time. Now, the layout serves as inspiration for other athletic departments that wish to fully customize their weight and conditioning facilities and become #SamsonStrong. In the video below, see … CLICK TO READ MORE...

Kansas City Chiefs Show Commitment to Safety

For over 35 years, Allen Wright, Director of Equipment for the Kansas City Chiefs, has watched the sport of football evolve as one of the hardest-hitting sports in the world. With that comes his constant concern over whether he is providing his team with the best possible gear, especially when it comes to helmets. That’s … CLICK TO READ MORE...

VIEW MORE ARTICLES