A former Syracuse University quarterback disqualified from contact sports at that school because of a history of concussions has found a new team to play for and could be on the field this fall.
A.J. Long tweeted over the weekend that he has committed to play football at Wagner College in Staten Island, N.Y. On his Instagram account, Long posted a photograph of himself in the Wagner locker room wearing a game jersey with the number 3 on it.
“It is Official that I will continue the pursuit of getting a great education and playing football at Wagner College,” Long wrote. “I want to thank everyone for the support, and motivation over these past months. Thank you to Wagner for giving me another opportunity.”
Special report: Disqualified after concussions, college football players recruited back onto the field
STAT chronicled Long’s quest to get back on the field after he was medically disqualified from playing football at Syracuse in October. He had suffered his third concussion during a practice a week earlier. Coaches from other schools soon began recruiting Long, and he sought a second opinion from experts at the Jefferson Comprehensive Concussion Center in Philadelphia, who cleared him for full contact on Dec. 23.
Long’s case highlights the lack of standards in the National Collegiate Athletic Association when it comes to disqualifying athletes because of concerns they have suffered too many concussions. The NCAA sets no limits on the number of permissible concussions, and each school makes its own decision on when to disqualify athletes because it is too dangerous for them to continue playing.
A Wagner spokesman did not respond to an email seeking comment.
This is not the first time the school has taken a chance on an athlete medically disqualified elsewhere because of multiple concussions. A current member of the Wagner men’s basketball team was medically disqualified from the University of Rhode Island after suffering his seventh concussion, according to this story.