Hayley Hodson was a star athlete and the future of women’s volleyball. She was the nation’s top pick in the sport, recruited to play for Stanford University. But during her freshman year, a volleyball brought her career to an end.
“It became very clear to me that my career was over,” Hodson said.
She says she got a series of concussions in games and practices that were never diagnosed. The worst incident came in a game against UCLA.
“I took this massive ball off my head that literally flew hundreds of feet away,” she said.
Immediately, she knew something was wrong.
“I was nonfunctional. I could barely brush my teeth. I was sobbing all the time. I was so confused and had no idea what was happening,” Hodson said.
Volleyball has one of the highest concussion rates in college sports, according to neuropsychiatry professor David Baron.
“We need to educate players, parents, coaches, that we need to take this quite seriously,” Barron said.
Hodson filed a lawsuit against Stanford and the NCAA for dangerous practices. Stanford said they take the wellbeing of their athletes extremely seriously and have the safest practices in place.