HOUSTON—For the first time, University of Houston’s starting quarterback is talking about his heartbreaking decision to end his football career after suffering multiple concussions.
Texas native David Piland said he made the tough call after a recommendation from the school’s medical staff.
Piland said all he ever wanted was to be a quarterback.
“Break as many records as I could. Win a bunch of championships here,” he said.
They say lives change in a flash, but this was just the latest of many.
“There are certain times when you get hit one play and the next thing you know you scored. Or you come to and you are on the sideline and you are like, ‘OK, what just happened?” he said.
Piland had seven diagnosed concussions in football. The first when he was 12.
“I would put a significant, a lot of money, if I could go back, it being a lot higher than that,” Piland remembered.
He knew the one he suffered in the University of Houston game on Sept. 7 at Temple was different.
He was admitted to the hospital and had no memory of the game, or the plane flight home from Philadelphia. That wasn’t all.
“You are in the hospital and you can’t really see straight.—Can’t really see anything. You get up to go to the bathroom and you get sick just because you are moving,” he said.
It was that lack of vision that caused him to see his future most clearly.
“The next one that I get, how long will it last? Is it going to be a week?” Piland wondered.
He also worries about early onset of Alzheimer’s Disease, which does run in his family.
“I don’t want to have Alzheimer’s and not remember my grandkids, and those things figure into it. You start thinking about down the road,” he said.
David can’t even remember the number of times that he was hit so hard he had his bell rung and could have had a concussion; after all he has been playing full contact football since he was five.
“I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody starting as young as I did. That is what I think kind of caused some problems, “ he said.
He does want his own family someday, maybe with a football playing son.
“I will tell him his time will come. But it won’t be when he is five. That is for sure,” he said.