Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment. Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.
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Host: Scott LaMar
Radio Smart Talk for Wednesday, May 29:
Wednesday's Radio Smart Talk focuses on a former football player, but the program is not about football. It's about mental illness and the toll it can take on a person's career and life.
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania native Charlie Wysocki was an All-America running back at the University of Maryland in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Wysocki ran for more than 3,300 yards during his four years at Maryland. He still holds several school records. Wysocki was one of a just a few college football stars that toured the country before their senior seasons. They were thought to be the leading candidates for the Heisman Trophy, as the nation's top football player.
Unfortunately, an injury during his senior year kept Wysocki from finishing his career with a Heisman or any other awards. It also may have scared off National Football League teams. Unexpectedly, Wysocki wasn't drafted by a pro team, although he did sign a free-agent contract with the Dallas Cowboys.
However, the whole time Wysocki was with the Cowboys in training camp, he couldn't sleep. It was the first sign of trouble. He was cut by the Cowboys.
Wysocki attempted to take his own life. He eventually was diagnosed with severe bi-polar disorder.
Wysocki has been institutionalized about 20 times since.
A new book by C. Terry Walters, Saddle Up Charlie, chronicles Wysocki's journey through football and mental illness.
Joining us on the program will be Charlie Wysocki, Terry Walters, Adam Bender from Goodwill Industries, and Jan Mroz from National Alliance on Mental Illness in Scranton.
Facts about bi-polar disorder and mental illness:
Charlie Wysocki, Terry Walters, Adam Bender
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