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IU quarterback quitting football, says he 'needs his brain'

Posted at 12:53 PM, Nov 28, 2016

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University's backup quarterback, Zander Diamont, is quitting football after his team's bowl game, saying he "needs his brain."

He didn't say the exact amount of concussions he thinks he's sustained, but said he's endured "a lot" over his football career.

"One of the things -- if you put him on scales, I bet he's a buck 61 (161)," IU coach Kevin Wilson said after his team's win over Purdue. "Just came to me a week ago, been talking about, 'Hey, I can graduate in the summer and I think this is it.' He's been talking with his family. I even asked him after the game, I said, 'Are you sure?' He said, 'Yeah, I took a few hits out there today, Coach.'"

Despite being a backup, Diamont played in 14 games throughout his career at IU. He's thrown for one touchdown and five interceptions. But he's made his name with his legs. Diamont has rushed for more than 500 yards, scoring 8 touchdowns. In 2015, he ran for a 79-yard touchdown against Ohio State.

Diamont's decision to put his health above his football career is not always the case among athletes.

The rules are clear about what a student-athlete has to do if they think they have a concussion.

Under Indiana law, a student-athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion must be removed from the game or practice, and can't return until they're evaluated by a doctor trained in concussions and head injuries. They must receive written clearance at least 24 hours after the concussion.

The rules are less clear if they don't know they have a concussion, or more troubling, if they know they have one, and choose to keep it hidden.

According to a 2004 study, more than 50 percent of high school football players who said they've had a concussion didn't report it. The No. 1 reason given for not reporting it was that they didn't believe it was serious enough.

There is no "magic number" of concussions somebody can have before quitting athletics, according to the National Federation of State High School Association. The student should discuss the situation with family and a doctor who specializes in sports concussions.

Among high school sports, football players suffer the most concussions at 11.2 concussions per athletic exposure, according to recent data.

The other top sports where athletes get concussed are:

  • Men's lacrosse
  • Women's soccer
  • Wrestling
  • Women's basketball
  • Women's lacrosse

If you think you've suffered a concussion while playing sports, check your symptoms with the ones supplied by the CDC here:

  • Difficulty thinking clearly
  • Headache
  • Fuzzy or blurry vision
  • Irritability
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sensitivity to noise or light
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Difficulty remembering new information