Dr. Elliot Pellman (above, far left), who directed the NFL’s concussion committee since its inception in 1994, has stepped down in the wake of mounting criticism from experts in the field of brain injury, The Sun has learned.
Last fall, ESPN The Magazine documented that Pellman was selective in what injury reports he used to reach his conclusions and omitted large numbers of players from the league’s study.
Pellman will be replaced by co-chairmen of the league’s mild traumatic brain injury committee. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said yesterday that Pellman asked to be relieved of his duties as chairman.
Dr. Ira Casson, a neurologist from Nassau, N.Y., and Dr. David Viano, director of the Sports Biomechanics Lab at Wayne State University, will head the committee, Aiello said in an e-mail. Neither doctor is affiliated with an NFL team.
Of Pellman’s background, Michael Kaplen, a New York attorney who specializes in representation of concussion and traumatic brain injury victims said “this person is a rheumatologist, not qualified to be an expert on brain injuries. He’s not a neurologist, neuropsychologist, neurosurgeon, and has no training in this area at all.”
In 2005, The New York Times reported that Pellman attended medical school in Guadalajara, Mexico, but did not graduate from SUNY Stony Brook, as he once claimed.
In Pellman’s defense, there’s not necessarily anything wrong with Mexican medical schools, the Steve Guttenberg star vehicle “Bad Medicine” nonwithstanding.