Interesting take on the "Should Tim Tebow Play?" debate from Gainesville Sun beat writer Robbie Andreu, who views any prescription about whether or not Tim Tebow should play as media folks playing "quack."
He's not wrong about the columnists who seem to arbitrarily be ordering Tebow to sit out the season or sit out X number of games.
I agree with Andreu that the decision is best left up to Tebow's doctors -- or are they the Florida football team's doctors? (One and the same, although I'm not sure whether they ultimately serve the university or the athlete. Would make for some good...well, now: Localized beat reporting!)
However, I'm not sure that discussion of whether Tebow should play in the LSU game merits Andreu's derision.
It is hard to fathom that Tebow could be "100 percent" recovered (Andreu's standard) in 14 days, especially given the current consensus of thought from experts on brain injuries, including a story in Andreu's own Sun, citing expert Dr. Cantu.
Even if Florida's doctors clear Tebow to play -- and it is impossible to know the medical inputs that go into that decision, let alone the non-medical ones -- there is no way that they will be "100 percent" sure.
Have you ever been to the doctor -- your own doctor -- and engaged them in a question of whether or not you should or shouldn't have a procedure or do something?
They never -- never -- offer anything with 100 percent certainty. Ever. It's not just CYA -- it's because there are limits to what doctors can know.
That goes even more for brain injuries, where the science is constantly revising what we know... almost entirely indicating that things are WORSE than you think, that people with brain injuries need MORE time not less, that returning too soon (whatever "too soon" might be) is MORE risky, not less.
I am not implying we doubt Florida's doctors -- personally, I am very quick to treat what my doctor recommends (again: "recommends," because it's never a certainty) as gospel.
I am sure Florida's docs wouldn't let Tebow participate if he wasn't as recovered as possible (a phrasing I prefer over "100 percent"). I am sure that Urban Meyer would never put rushing Tebow back over Tebow's short-term and long-term health.
(As has been covered here extensively, that is a competitively dumb thing to do -- and it's unclear whether a concussed Tebow, 14 days after his concussion, gives Florida a better chance to beat LSU than Brantley.)
And I would hope that beyond the physical tests that Tebow must undergo that defy any "gaming" by the patient -- earnest as that gaming might be -- that Tebow would do what is in both his and the team's best interests by not claiming he is in better shape than he really is, just to get back on the field -- just to participate in this huge game. (As pointed out here and in the Yahoo column, Tebow's inspiration and leadership can be just as effective from the sidelines, while his teammates are on the field. Particularly in real-time mentoring of Brantley.)
But I do think it is fair for media, fans, medical experts -- whoever -- to weigh in on the very murky (and nowhere near "100 percent" certain) decisions over whether Tim Tebow SHOULD play against LSU.