Kevin Ware Has Successful Surgery After Breaking His Leg in Gruesome Fashion Seen by Millions Watching March Madness Basketball Tourney on TV. Columnist Says CBS Showed Appropriate Restraint in Live Coverage of Injury USA Today, ABC News, Bloomberg Businessweek
"University of Louisville basketball player Kevin Ware suffered an open fracture of his right leg during Sunday’s Midwest Regional final that left his teammates and coach in tears, becoming the biggest story out of the NCAA March Madness tournament....Ware, 20, was taken to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis after the game to repair the fracture. School officials said the leg, broken in two places, was reset and a rod inserted into his right tibia. ESPN reported Ware will remain in Indianapolis until at least Tuesday."
So reported ABC News on Sunday night, March 31, 2013.
The injury was seen by millions who were watching the game live on TV. Commented USA Today sports media columnist Michael Hiestand, "Usually, sports television means sticking to the script. But when Louisville sophomore Kevin Ware suffered a dramatic injury against Duke on CBS Sunday, game coverage was left, as analyst Clark Kellogg put it, 'in totally uncharted territory for everybody in the building, for players, for us.'
"CBS' response was textbook -- it let its pictures do the talking."
Hiestand continued, "CBS couldn't really avoid showing a replay of the injury, given that TV coverage should at least give viewers access to anything they'd see if they were in the stands. CBS aired the cringe-inducing replay twice. Kellogg stated the obvious, but it seemed appropriate: 'You never want to see that.' (And on its halftime studio coverage, CBS was sensible. Host Greg Gumbel said there would be no replay -- 'with the severity of that injury, we are not going to be showing it here.')
"But the CBS shots, from producer Mark Wolff and director Bob Fishman, seemed almost more compelling than replays of the injury itself. The closeups of seemingly mortified fans were jarring. The footage of Louisville coach Rick Pitino wiping away tears was a striking visual. And CBS followed the news, including showing Ware being driven away in an ambulance."
Accoring to Bloomberg Businessweek, Pitino said at the end of the game, "Basically the bone popped out of his skin, it broke in two spots. It will take a year for him to come back. He’ll come back better than ever.”
The Businessweek article continues, "Louisville athletic department spokesman Kenny Klein said Ware will remain in Indianapolis through at least tomorrow, when he may return to Louisville and then join the Cardinals as they travel to Atlanta for the Final Four. Ware played high school basketball in Rockdale County, Georgia, 24 miles east of Atlanta."