Penn State continues to aggressively refute David Epstein’s forthcoming Sports Illustrated story that investigates its medical practices related to athletic programs, specifically the football team.
This series of statements comes on the heels of remarks last night in an effort to get ahead of the in-depth piece that hits newsstands today. Similar in nature to yesterday’s remarks, these statements harshly criticize the SI article going as far as to call some of the claims inside the 23-page story “ludicrous.”
The statements from university officials can be read in full below:
Penn State Issues Further Statements on Sports Illustrated article:
“The article fundamentally distorts the facts. There has been no change in the model of medical care for our student athletes. The allegations on why the change in team physician was made is ludicrous. Worst of all, the article ignores the fact that Dr. Sebastianelli remains the doctor in charge of the University’s entire medical program for intercollegiate athletics, including football. In addition, the university athletic trainer reported directly to Dr. Sebastianelli, who supervised the trainer’s work. A review shows Penn State’s medical coverage is on par with, or exceeds, peer institutions.”
Dr. Harold Paz, senior vice president for Health Affairs, Chief Executive Officer, Penn State Hershey Medical Center and dean of the College of Medicine:
“The article suggests that the quality of care provided to Penn State student athletes has been jeopardized by a change in team physicians. It simply isn’t the case. Drs. Seidenberg and Lynch, the physicians now responsible for the day-to-day care of Penn State football players are both experienced clinicians, fellowship-trained in Sports Medicine and committed to providing expert medical care to our students athletes.
Any suggestion that care is being compromised by the change in physician assignments is both unsubstantiated and incorrect.
The article further suggests that Dr. Sebastianelli is no longer playing a role in supporting the University’s athletic teams. In fact, as Director of Athletic Medicine, Dr. Sebastianelli remains the doctor in charge of the University’s entire medical program for intercollegiate athletics.”
Dave Joyner, Director of Athletics:
“As athletic director for Penn State my first priority is the welfare of our student-athletes. All decisions are, and have been, made with that first and foremost as the goal. Any changes that were made were done for, and only for, the benefit of the student-athletes, the football program, and for Penn State. Any characterization otherwise is appalling, offensive, preposterous and completely untrue. Change is never easy, but that won’t prevent us from doing the right thing for our student-athletes.”