Following his team's two-point victory against Miami Saturday afternoon, Louisville coach Rick Pitino expressed some concern for the way the Hurricanes handled a potentially-concussed player.
In the first half of the contest, Cardinals' senior forward Montrezl Harrell threw the basketball at the face of Miami center Tonye Jekiri. Harrell was given a Flagrant 1 after referees reviewed the play. The Louisville star said following the 55-53 victory the throw was not intentional, though Hurricanes' coach Jim Larranaga disagreed.
Jekeri, a starter for Miami, began the second half on the bench. Larranaga said after the game his player was suffering from severe headaches. Miami's trainers originally believed the 7-foot big man had a concussion, before allowing him back into the game.
Miami's handling of Jekeri was troubling to Pitino. Here's what the Louisville coach said during his post-game press conference, courtesy of the Courier-Journal:
“Here’s the ironic thing: Coach Larranaga walked over to the officials, all the way over to the other side. I’ve never seen that. I wanted to know what (Larranaga said). The official says, ‘Well, he wanted to let me know that the big guy has a concussion on that play.’ I said, ‘What motive do you need to know that? He’s back in the game.’
“So I called (Louisville football coach) Bobby Petrino — this is no joke — I said, ‘Get a hold of that Miami doctor because, in 15 minutes, a kid went from a concussion to playing and totally healthy.’ We’re sending a plane down to hire that doctor for football. We will never have a concussion ever again. He was back 3-4 minutes later. He walked all the way over there to tell him he had a concussion, then he was back in the game.”
That's a pretty direct calling out of Miami from Pitino. Concussions are obviously something that should be taken very seriously, but it's impossible to know if the Hurricanes' medical staff followed protocol or not.
This likely won't be the last we hear of this incident.