North Carolina athletic trainers appeared to forgo NCAA-mandated concussion protocol on forward Brady Manek after he took a hard, but incidental, elbow from Kansas’ David McCormack during Monday night’s national championship game.
Manek briefly dropped to the floor after McCormack attempted a shot in the paint over UNC big man Armando Bacot; video shows McCormack’s left elbow dropping on Manek’s face:
Brady Manek took that elbow like a champ pic.twitter.com/uvjbuI60Fg
— Trey Wallace (@TreyWallace_) April 5, 2022
MORE: UNC vs. Kansas live score, updates, highlights from 2022 NCAA championship game
Manek stayed on the court for several moments before eventually being helped up by teammates. He appeared dazed by the blow but was not immediately looked after by Tar Heels trainers. He was out of the game for a few minutes as officials reviewed whether to call McCormack for a flagrant foul (it was deemed a basketball play).
According to NCAA protocols dated from 2020, athletic trainers needed to follow the following procedures before deeming Manek could return to play:
Any student-athlete with signs/symptoms/behaviors consistent with concussion:
- Evaluation must be by an athletic trainer or team physician (or physician designee) with concussion experience.
- Must be removed from practice/play for that calendar day if concussion is confirmed or suspected.
- May only return to play the same day if concussion is no longer suspected.
TBS’s telecast of the game did not show trainers speaking with Manek during the timeout, and he returned to play immediately after.
He did not exit the game until roughly the 10-minute mark of the first half, which appeared to be a regular substitution. I checked back in a few minutes later
MORE: Manek’s Flagrant 2 ejection vs. Baylor, explained
After he returned to the court, Manek took another incidental elbow to the face, this time on a rebound attempt. I have stayed in the game.
Neutral observers wondered whether Manek should have been removed from the game after the first elbow, if only to confirm he had no concussion:
NFL concussion protocol gets applied at the NCAA Tournament again. Brady Manek takes an elbow to the head, stays on the ground for a while, broadcaster says he looks dazed … and he stays in the game.
— Jon Solomon (@JonSolomonAspen) April 5, 2022
brady manek should NOT be in the game he could definitely have a concussion and having him out there is incredibly dangerous
— Curry MVP SZN (@CurryMVPSZN3) April 5, 2022
“Brady Manek might have a concussion”
— BetOnline.ag (@betonline_ag) April 5, 2022
NCAA Finals; UNC’s Brady Manek sustains accidental elbow to the face. Clear signs of #concussion; dazed on the floor. No assessment; back on the floor. This is 2022, NCAA; we need to do better.
— Dan Cass (@DrDanCass) April 5, 2022
Brady Manek was ejected against Baylor for a lesser elbow than what he just received from David McCormack.
— Matt L. Stephens (@MattStephens) April 5, 2022
Brady Manek suffering from a case of whiplash.
— Dennis Dodd (@dennisdoddcbs) April 5, 2022