2015 Schedule
Interactive: March 13–17  •  Film: March 13–21  •  Music: March 17–22

Does Playing Sports Equal Brain Damage?

Friday, March 13
5:00PM - 6:00PM

Four Seasons
Ballroom AB
98 San Jacinto Blvd

The narrative is spreading globally: Playing sports leads to concussions. In turn, concussions lead to depression, brain damage, and death. The high-profile suicides of famous athletes, such as NFL stars Dave Duerson and Junior Seau, along with pending litigation against leagues and equipment makers, put sports and concussion in a fear-filled focus. But does sport, at any level, equal brain damage? Two ends of the expert spectrum, 2006 Super Bowl champion tight end Ben Utecht and world-renowned sports neurologist Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, discuss what happens to the brain during sports. Utecht, 33, faces cognitive issues from his elite football career and seeks greater brain awareness. Kutcher is highly sought after, from youth to pro and Olympic athletes, to treat concussions and neurological issues. New York Times sports contributor and Michigan State University sports journalist in residence Joanne Gerstner will moderate the discussion.


#sxsw #SXsports


Ben Utecht


Surrender The Game

Ben Utecht, a retired NFL starting tight end, won the 2006 Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts. He has since become an award-nominated musician/singer and a National Spokesperson for the America...

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Jeffrey Kutcher


University of Michigan NeuroSport

Dr. Jeff Kutcher is a board-certified practicing neurologist, and a globally-sought after consultant and expert on sports concussion.

He is the founder and director of the University of Michigan...

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Joanne Gerstner


Michigan State University


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