Pennsylvania player says “no” to scholarship and football after watching the movie “Concussion”

Concussion film

Wednesday was a huge day for high school football players to decide on their college football futures.   But, for John Castello, a tight end at Mars High School in Pennsylvania, there was more than just his scholarship offers on his mind on National Signing Day.

Castello had received about a dozen scholarship offers from FCS schools.  However, on Wednesday, instead of accepting a scholarship, he announced that he wasn’t going to play college football because of health concerns.

According to WTAE-TV, Castello made his decision to walk away from the game after seeing the film Concussion, starring Will Smith, that examined the impact of concussions on NFL players.  Smith played Dr. Bennet Omalu, whose findings were the basis of the movie.

Castello told WTAE-TV, “With what he discovered and what I saw with his interviews, I was very taken aback by it.  And I just decided I don’t want to go through life in pain and thinking maybe I won’t have the best memory later on.”

According to the story, Castello will now focus on playing college basketball.  He reportedly has partial scholarship offers from Shippensburg University and the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.

You can listen to Castello talk about his decision next Thursday on the High School Football America Radio show.

About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.