BELIEVE: RUTGERS

Posted: October 21, 2010 by NattieLiz in NCAA Football
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This weekend the Rutgers Football team will be wearing stickers on the front their helmets that read simply: BELIEVE. This Friday night across the state of NJ, more than 11,000 high school football players statewide will be wearing two-inch white oval decals on their helmets bearing the No. 52 in scarlet numerals. All of this in support of Rutgers Defensive Tackle, Eric LeGrand.  

LeGrand suffered a spinal cord injury last saturday in the fourth quarter of the game, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down. Eric LeGrand, a junior from Avenel, N.J., slammed into Army’s Malcolm Brown on a kickoff return. It happened near the 25-yard-line, with the top of LeGrand’s helmet knocking into Brown’s left shoulder. LeGrand collapsed and lay still as medics rushed to help. By Sunday, it was clear that LeGrand was paralyzed from the neck down, Rutgers announced.

Sadly, this is not the first time we have seen this happen in Football. In 2007, Kevin Everett sustained a “catastrophic” and life-threatening spinal-cord injury while trying to make a tackle during the Buffalo Bill’s season opener. Upon the injury trainers approached the injury with a new method: Instead of using ice, doctors chilled Everett from the inside, infusing cold fluids into his veins. The treatment was experimental, and medical experts cautioned that it is impossible to say in an individual case whether it would help or hurt. It must have helped, immensely, as Kevin Everett is successfully walking and fully recovered. This success story gives us all hope for LeGrand.

“Eric’s spirits were as good as you can expect,” Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said. “He was cognizant of me being there, his mom, everybody. He’s a fighter”.“Coach is there every night,” linebacker Antonio Lowery said. “When he finds out stuff, he lets us know. If anything bad had happened, he would’ve told us already. But everything is going good so far.”
The Rutgers book store is selling special shirts to raise money for the paralyzed player. This is such a sad and unfortunate truth about the risk in playing College Football. We can only hope that for the rest of the season these stories are few and far between. JC sends its prayers.

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