Sometimes life is just not fair. Notre Dame, freshman, offensive linesman Joey Tanona learned that the hard way this year. Last offseason, Tanona was in a very severe car accident. We have now learned that the concussion he received in that accident was so bad that he had to retire for health reasons from football.
The decision was not made for lack of effort, because Marcus Freeman said Tanona, trying to get back into her playing form. However, this was not to be, as Freeman hinted in his comments:
“Mentally and physically, he was in no condition to be ready to play football. He decided to retire for health reasons. He will still be here to get his degree. This is the most wonderful thing about this place. We can guarantee one thing – that at some point the game of football will end. But you have a chance to get a diploma from this university and a chance to succeed. He’s in a good mood.”
You never want someone’s college football career to be over before it’s even started, but that’s something Tanone, a former four-star rookie and All-American Bowl qualifier, will unfortunately have to come to terms with. Luckily, as Freeman said, he will stay to complete his degree at a prestigious university. No, it’s not exactly the same as being able to dress for the Irish, but like any footballer who graduates, this degree will have far more long-term consequences than anything that happens in the life of a student-athlete.
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