As revelations surrounding the film Concussion, which explores the relationship between football and CTE, continue to make waves across the NFL, one high school student has turned down 12 football scholarships.
John Castello of Mars High School in Pittsburgh decided that his health is more important than any of those opportunities.
“The head injuries were a huge reason for my decision, I’ve liked both football and basketball for some time,” Castello said. “I wasn’t totally sure what I wanted to do. Then, that movie Concussion came out and some interviews came out. I watched one interview with Dr. [Bennett] Omalu where he was talking about [former Pittsburgh Steelers center] Mike Webster. After watching that, I said it’s not worth it. Yeah, it would be free college. But your whole life is in jeopardy. You’re putting your body in harm’s way every single week. It was definitely a tough choice, but I think I made the right choice.”
Instead of continuing his athletic career as a tight end, he opted to pursue basketball and has even received an offer from Shippensburg University, an NCAA Division II school.
Rob Carmody, Castello’s basketball coach, thinks more schools will start offering the student scholarships once they realize he’s not interested in football.
Could this become the new trend?