Wednesday, March 18, 2015
X-ray of two football player brains

A panel of legal and athletics experts  will lead a discussion on concussions and sports during UNH’s upcoming Executive Forum Breakfast in Boston next month.

 “The Concussion Crisis: The Future of Sports in America” will be held Wednesday, April 22; the public is invited to attend. The concerns over head trauma and sports have stretched from young sports to professional athletes in recent months. In 2013, Frontline aired a program called “League of Denial” which examined head trauma in the NFL, and its lasting effects on professional athletes. Just this week, 49ers Chris Borland announced he was leaving professional sports, citing future health concerns due to possible future brain damage.

Panelists for the  forum include Sean McDonnell ’78, head coach of UNH Football; Michael McCann, professor and director of the UNH Sports and Entertainment Law Institute and Erik Swartz, professor and chair of the Department of Kinesiology. The event will be moderated by Marty Scarano, UNH athletics director.

McCann is one of the nation's leading experts in sports law, a seasoned sports attorney, and an award-winning teacher and scholar. He is Sports Illustrated's legal analyst, a writer for both Sports Illustrated and, and the on-air legal analyst for NBA TV. McCann was the first member of the media to interview Lance Armstrong after Armstrong's interview with Oprah Winfrey and authored My Dance with Lance.

Want To Go?

What: The Concussion Crisis: The Future of Sports in America

Where: Omni Park House Press Room, 60 School St., Boston

When: Wednesday, April 22 at 7:30 a.m. Networking breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m., program begins at 8:15 a.m.

Cost: $30 per person, register by April 17

McDonnell is in his 16th year as head coach of the UNH football team. In 2014, McDonnell garnered the national coach of the year award from the American Football Coaches Association and The Sports Network, which presented him with the Eddie Robinson Award for the second time in his career.  McDonnell guided the Wildcats to an historic 2014 season in which the school established single-season records for victories (12), consecutive wins (12) and year-end national ranking (No. 3). UNH, which won 14 straight home games from 2013-14 for another University record, extended its nation-leading streak of NCAA playoff appearances to 11 straight years and reached the national semifinals for the second year in a row. 

Swartz is a professor and the chair of the Department of Kinesiology at UNH. He received his doctoral degree in applied biomechanics at the University of Toledo, and his primary research focuses on the prevention and care of head and neck injuries in football. Swartz has received grants from The NATA Foundation, NOCSAE, NFL Charities, and was recently a named a winner of the NineSigma Head Health Challenge II.  He has been published in journals such as The American Journal of Emergency Medicine, New England Journal of Medicine, and The American Journal of Sports Medicine. He serves on the NFL Head Neck and Spine Committee’s Subcommittee on Safety Equipment and Rules. He was recognized with a Fellows designation in the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and in 2015 received the Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award, also from the NATA.

Scarano has been the director of athletics at the University of New Hampshire since 2000. During his tenure, he has heightened national exposure for UNH athletics with academics, with facility renovations and programmatic advancement being top priorities. Scarano was awarded the National Association of College Directors of Athletics AD of the Year for the FCS in 2007 and was also named the All-American Football Foundation Athletic Director of the Year for FCS football in the Northeast region. Scarano is a graduate of Penn State University, where he started his athletic career as assistant ticket manager and the athletics events manager from 1980 to 1983. He holds a master’s degree in Environmental History from Colgate University.

The UNH Boston Executive Forum brings together alumni who are senior-level professionals and industry trailblazers. These regular events focus on emerging trends in business, finance, health care, education and culture. This forum provides the opportunity to meet with peers, make connections and continue to increase the visibility of the university and its alumni. 

Find Out More
Learn more about Erik Swartz and his work with student-athletes
Check out Michael McCann’s Twitter feed
Read about Sean McDonnell and Marty Scarano, and UNH Football's winningest fall 2014 season.