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The school of hard knocks

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By John Pawlak

There’s an old joke that goes “Why did the father hit his son in the head?”
The answer is, “He wanted to make his head smart.”
It’s really not that funny, especially when you consider the fact that students do get hit in the head, and it doesn’t make them smart.
Head injuries have long been an ignored subject, and only recently have the dangers surfaced to public discussion. It took Dave Duerson’s suicide to prompt any real action to do more than just talk about whether or not it’s safe to get hit in the head.
OK, I’m not a doctor. I haven’t studied the complexities of the brain. I don’t even know how the thing works.
But my own brain works well enough to understand that hitting it repeatedly isn’t a good thing.
Still, it’s big news when big money is involved. Last year, the National Football League agreed to a $765 million settlement for a lawsuit levied by retired players who were suffering from concussion-related injuries. The lawsuit stated that the league had failed to disclose the dangers of head trauma.


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