Notre Dame outside linebacker Danny Spond told his teammates last weekend that he was in effect "retiring" from football. The end of Spond's career is the result of what have been diagnosed as "hemiplegic migraines", which cause temporary stroke-like symptoms.
Fighting Irish head coach announced Spond's decision to end his career after Saturday's practice and Spond issued the following statement on Tuesday:
“My football playing career is over after suffering another paralyzing migraine early in fall camp,” said Spond. “I’ve received the best medical treatment and guidance possible. Unfortunately, an exact cause of these migraines remains undetermined, and in order to assure my overall well-being, I’m forced to walk away from the game with an extremely heavy heart."
“This has been an incredibly difficult time for me and my family, but by the Grace of God, we can find comfort in His greater plan. Being a man of God and an ambassador for his word, I have come to realize that in times of questioning His plan you have to let go and let God take over, and that is what I am doing. I’ve played this game my entire life, and losing it makes me feel as if I have lost something inside. But I find comfort in knowing my Lord will open the next chapter in my life and fill what’s been taken."
“I want to sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, thank each and every person who has supported me and my career at Notre Dame for their thoughts and prayers. You are the greatest people and fans in this world and make Notre Dame the most righteous University that I could ever represent; I love each and every one of you so very much. I promise to continue to give all I can to this University this year by coaching my position and providing senior leadership in all ways. You may no longer hear my name on the field, but I promise you, this is not the last you will hear of Danny Spond. With God, my family, and Notre Dame, I will persevere to do great things.”
Spond will remain with the Irish throughout the 2013 season to help work with players at his drop linebacker position. He will graduate next spring with a degree in political science.