Thursday, July 21, 2011

Richt Discusses How Sickle Cell Affects Family, Team

An interesting, non-football fact about Coach Richt's family and what is apparently a very real factor in college football that we probably don't think about very often, as discussed at SEC Media Days.

"I know you've been part of the NCAA educational material on sickle cell trait. Can you talk about how your son having that has influenced you and how much awareness you think there is among other coaches about the dangers of what can happen with that?

Mark Richt:
"Our number two son has a sickle cell trait, David. Just knowing that, do things on the soccer field, it can get real hot. They can do a lot of running. Compared to our first son, he struggled a lot more. It was probably due to the sickle cell trait, and of course, whether David had that or not. "

"We have Ron Courson, director of sports medicine, who is the finest athletic trainer in
America. He's up to speed and understands all those things. We have guys that have that trait. We haves some off-season things. We know we have to watch those guys, monitor those guys, hydrate those guys just a little bit more than you do the rest of the gang. There's some things those guys just don't do."

"The hardest part about that is when a kid wants to do it so bad, and he doesn't want to be taken out of the drill, he doesn't want to be set apart where his teammates can bust his chops for doing what everyone else does. "

"The reality is, we got to put the pride aside, and we got to use good common sense with these guys because it is a real thing and it can be deadly."

(Transcript courtesy of the SEC)

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