Texas’ win over West Virginia stark reminder of football’s dangers

Christina Huang, Double Coverage Editor

Despite Texas’ dominant 38-20 win over West Virginia, the victory came at the tail of a particularly violent week in football.

West Virginia running back CJ Donaldson was carted off of the field after a serious injury and sent to an Austin hospital. Thankfully, the freshman was cleared to travel back to Morgantown with the rest of the team. Donaldson is currently in concussion protocol. 

“I’m sitting there as a father of three, and I knew his mom wasn’t there,” West Virginia head coach Neal Brown said about Donaldson’s injury after the game. “That’s all I could think about.” 

Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian acknowledged the rough week in the sport during his opening statement to the media after the West Virginia win. 

“We saw (injury) earlier this week with Tua (Tagovailoa), we saw it in the OU and TCU game today, we saw it in our game tonight,” Sarkisian said. “Our sport is our sport… I thought both of our teams handled it really well.” 

Last Thursday, Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffered his second head injury in two weeks. He was transported to a hospital and diagnosed with a concussion. 

Fifth-year linebacker DeMarvion Overshown was on the field during Donaldson’s injury and described the immediate aftermath. Just last year, Overshown suffered a concussion himself. 

“After the play, I did see him try and sit up,” Overshown said. “But he just kind of fell back down.” 

The freshman running back’s injury was especially heart wrenching because of his story. Donaldson was a three-star tight end recruit out of Miami Gulliver Prep. Brown was on a visit to the South Florida school to see Travious Lathan, a West Virginia linebacker commit. 

Gulliver Prep head coach Earl Sims pitched Donaldson to the West Virginia head coach, and Brown immediately knew he could utilize Donaldson’s skills and athleticism at the tight end position.

Donaldson immediately impacted the game for the Mountaineers, running for 125 yards against Pittsburgh in his first collegiate game. His rising stock only makes his injury that much worse. 

Unfortunately, Donaldson wasn’t the only college player who suffered a serious injury last Saturday. 

Oklahoma will possibly be down two key players in the Red River Rivalry game after two major injuries in its loss to TCU. Starting quarterback Dillon Gabriel was knocked out cold after a hard hit. 

He’s currently in concussion protocol, but Oklahoma head coach Brett Venables has yet to make a definitive statement on Gabriel’s status for Saturday. Defensive back Damond Harmon was carted off of the field after a scary head and neck injury. 

While injuries are a natural part of any sport, last week’s slew of severe injuries served as a stark reminder of how violent football can be for young athletes. 

Injuries will continue to happen throughout the rest of this season and every season that follows, but seeing young athletes getting hurt as they try and achieve their goals will always be something that is extremely hard to watch. 

With all of the pageantry surrounding college football, it can be easy to forget that athletes are the true center of this spectacle. These young players take hit after hit for our entertainment. And while they know what they sign up for, it doesn’t change the severity of the injuries that occur on the gridiron. 

As many of us take the trip up to the Cotton Bowl for Texas’ biggest rivalry game of the year, let’s remember the risks that athletes take to keep us entertained every weekend.