By Brandon Cruz
The Nevada Wolf Pack Football program lost more than its .500 record this weekend and linebackers Alex Bertrando and Travis Wilson, who both went down with injuries. The most recent blow came when running back Akeel Lynch announced his retirement from football.
“Having suffered two significant concussions in a short period of time, and discussing with doctors and family members, I have made the decision to stop playing football,” said Lynch via twitter.
Lynch found his way to Nevada this past summer to join the ranks of James Butler and Jaxson Kincaide. He was originally meant to be the back-up to Butler, but after suffering a concussion during their game at Notre Dame and another in Hawaii, Kincaide replaced Lynch.
On his retirement, “Honestly speaking, this is one of the hardest decisions I’ve come across. The decision I made was for my future self. I’ve been battling the internal conflict between a childhood dream and a consequence of another concussion.”
Lynch’s concerns regarding the possibility of concussions affecting his future are warranted. After numerous concussions, the quality of life of former players begins to suffer. A prime example is former Nevada defensive end Ian Seau’s uncle Junior Seau. Seau suffered multiple concussions while playing in the NFL and ended up suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy. This is a type of chronic brain damage found in a great deal of former NFL players.
While Lynch seemed disheartened by the fact that he will not be able to play football professionally again, he has seemed to accept the change in the best way possible.
“Looking back, I realize this game has blessed me tremendously. It has given a Canadian kid the opportunities to play on a national level, become a college graduate, and is currently allowing me to pursue my Masters in Educational Leadership at UNR. I can’t forget to mention the people I’ve met and life lessons I was given while chasing the American dream. I’ll be forever grateful for this game,” Lynch said via twitter.
The Pack will look to rebound against Wyoming this coming weekend, as they attempt to fill the void left by Lynch and the countless other injured players on the roster this season.
Brandon Cruz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. edu and on Twitter @SagebrushSports.