Brent Jones played 11 seasons for the 49ers, won three Super Bowls and at age 34 might have had a few good years left in his career. But the tight end decided to retire because he worried about the effect of eight diagnosed concussions on his life after football.
He still worries nearly 16 years later.
"The thing that scared me the most: Is there a point that pushes you over the gray line?" said Jones, now 50, about when concussions can lead to brain damage. "They didn't know what that was then, and remarkably we still don't know."
Finding those answers is why Jones and former teammate Ronnie Lott will join some of the country's leading brain-injury experts Thursday at a Santa Clara University symposium that will examine the crisis of head trauma in sport. Santa Clara's Institute of Sports Law and Ethics assembled a powerhouse group of speakers to address arguably the biggest issue in sport today.
Ex-49er George Visager said, "I expected to be injured. I expected to have knee, ankle and shoulder problems. But I never expected to not be able to remember the last 20 years of my life."
A limited number of walk ins will be accepted at the cost of $175., for more information: http://law.scu.edu/ai1ec_event/third-annual-sports-law-and-ethics-symposium/
More on concussions: http://www.cdc.gov/concussion