Jan 29, 2015
Using His Head

After sustaining multiple concussions as a member of the Ohio State University football team, and experiencing a recent return of symptoms, Andrew Sweat decided to turn down an opportunity to compete for an NFL job. It was a tough decision, but one he does not regret.

A former Buckeye linebacker, Sweat suffered three concussions during his career, including a serious one last season. After going unselected in the 2012 NFL Draft, Sweat signed up to try out for the Cleveland Browns. But as he readied to attend the team’s mini camp last week, Sweat slipped and fell in the shower, prompting the return of his concussion symptoms.

“When I fell, it scared me,” Sweat told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “Football is not worth my health. It’s really important to me that I’m able to have a family and a life after football. Football is a great game, but when you have a concussion like that, it’s not worth it.”

For Sweat, life after football begins now. He has already been accepted to five law schools and is also considering a career in medical sales.

“Some people, football is the only thing they have, so it’s hard,” Sweat told the Plain Dealer. “So I can understand it. But I think there’s a fine line between being smart and tough.

“Sometimes people get lost in the game of football. They don’t think about injuries, and they ignore things. I enjoy too many things. I’m too well-rounded to have critical damage to my brain and body.”

Though he made national headlines for his choice to give up football, Sweat isn’t the only former college football player to choose brain health over a career on the gridiron. T&C‘s March issue features an article on how the University of Texas sports medicine staff recently tackled this decision with two Longhorn football players.

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