Jim Unis was one of BC's most highly touted recruits. Unfortunately head injuries and concussions cut his career short. At the time, the news of his retirement received decent local coverage, but nothing national. When Spencer Rositano retired from football due to lingering concussion issues, his hometown D.C./Virginia media covered the story too, but that was it. In a measurement of how things have changed, James Hendren's concussion-related retirement sparked a good deal of national interest.
All Hendren did was post the information on his Instagram page. From there it made it to the blogesphere and the message boards. On Tuesday, Yahoo, Fox Sports, The Score and others all reported on his decision. This is for a freshman backup on a 3-9 team. If Hendren had blown out his knee, there is no way it makes that type of news. The media isn't interested in this kid. They are interested in his head.
I don't take concussions or head injuries lightly. I was upset when BC played Rouse after he was clearly wobbling during a game. But I also hope the media doesn't exploit these kids just because football-related concussions are a hot topic. These are still young men whose dream just ended.
Fortunately BC does a good job of keeping injured players involved in the program. Unis helped the TOB teams after he couldn't play. And BC pushed them to all complete their degrees. Football still remains dangerous, but BC does care about these kids in ways other schools do not.
I wish Hendren the best and his future headlines are not related to his injury.