Internationally recognized ABC News and award-winning journalist, Bob Woodruff, contributes 12-minute feature to Tuesday’s E:60 (7 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Woodruff shares the story of former UCLA linebacker — and the Bruins’ 2011 Defensive Player of the Year — Patrick Larimore, who retired prior to this season due to multiple concussions.
In a special collaboration between E:60 and ABC News, correspondent Bob Woodruff, who suffered a traumatic brain injury covering the war in Iraq in 2006, takes viewers inside Larimore’s story with his own personal understanding of head injuries.
“There is always this relationship between hard news and investigative reporting and sports,” said Woodruff. “They’re all together, they’re all related, and they need to be broadcast. I love well-told storytelling and important stories that show people being a part of the world. I really thought this was something that was important for us to do.”
This was supposed to be a season of triumph for Patrick Larimore, a 22-year-old middle linebacker for UCLA. Captain, defensive MVP, and team leader in tackles in 2011, Larimore was projected as an NFL draft pick. But in mid-August, as his senior season was about to start, Larimore decided not to play another down – ever. He had suffered multiple concussions in spring and summer practices that forced him to the sidelines. Rather than risking his long-term health, Larimore medically retired, giving up his life-long dream of being a professional football player.
“Working with Bob on his first feature for ESPN – a look at concussions in college football – has been an honor and a privilege,” said E:60 Executive Producer Andy Tennant. “His years of reporting experience, his intimate knowledge of the effects of brain trauma, and his passion for sports, made this an ideal collaboration. It has added a new and powerful dimension to our show.”
Woodruff was part ABC News’ post-9/11 coverage recognized with the Alfred I. duPont and the George Foster Peabody Awards, the two highest honors in broadcast journalism.
Additional stories on this week’s E:60 include Jeff Chadiha’s profile on the anchor of the New York Giants defense, Justin Tuck , who behind his two Pro Bowl selections and World Championships, has a career built on family values and a small-town way of life; and Jeremy Schaap’s story about a Madison County, Va. high-schooler, Jacob Rainey, who developed a special bond with the New York Jets’ Tim Tebow after the youth suffered a tragic on-field injury that required amputation of his right leg. That should have ended his football career. But with the support and encouragement of his coaches, trainers, and family, and even Tebow himself, Rainey attempted what many thought impossible – to play quarterback on a prosthesis. Schaap tells the story of the faith and comeback of the kid who would be Tebow.