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Speight’s father decries Purdue's handling of son’s injury

As Wilton Speight lay on the field, sacked and then hit by a second Purdue defender, his parents urgently made their way toward the locker room.

Bobby and Martha Speight, worried about their son, could not have anticipated what would transpire over the next few hours, when they thought the Michigan quarterback’s potentially serious injury was not treated with the necessary urgency.

Wilton Speight suffered three fractured back vertebrae in that game in West Lafayette, Ind., on Sept. 23. He has not played since.

Scary read. If Speight had suffered further injury because of the poor facilities the fallout would have been brutal.


  • Michigan and Michigan State have full X-ray capabilities at their stadiums, and they also provide police escorts if a player needs to be transported to and from the hospital. It’s not clear why Speight wasn’t transported directly to a hospital by ambulance.

    Instead, Wilton sat in the front seat of a van provided by Purdue and driven by a student. The Speights, two medical trainers, a doctor and Thai Trinh, an orthopedic sports medicine fellow at Michigan, piled into a van to be transported to the student health clinic, about two blocks from the stadium.

    “We take off with no escort,” Bobby Speight said. “We can’t get through because there are barricades up and (the van driver is) directing people to move them.”
    They reached the Purdue University Student Health Center and headed downstairs.

    “They take us in the basement,” Bobby Speight said. “It’s very dimly lit. Halfway down the hall, there’s a (radiology) technician. Wilton is in (partial) uniform and still wearing cleats, and she asks Wilton his name.

    The (van driver) says he needs an X-ray. (The technician) looks at me and says, ‘I need your insurance card.’”

  • “Our doctor asked him, ‘Couldn’t we please turn on the siren and make better time?’ And (the rescue squad member) said, ‘Don’t you get smart with me. You said this is a non-vital trip.’ Our doctor said, ‘I don’t care what I told you, this boy has tingling in his legs. Turn the siren on and go.’
    This part is incredible to me....

    Go Blue!!
  • Purdue has some serious explaining to do if you ask me.   Their statements about how their facilities are up to par with other B1G programs they released when Harbaugh originally criticized their visiting facilities won't wash anymore after this story!!!   Asking for an insurance card???  Telling a UofM doctor to not get smart when asking to turn the siren on???  Not having a back board at a university hospital?  Not having an ambulance available to transport Speight from the stadium and instead having him ride in a van driven by a freaking student???  This is appalling to say the least!!!  Purdue is VERY fortunate their treatment of Speight didn't result in further injury!!!
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