I’ve written often about the lawsuits between the NFL and former professional football players regarding their concussions. Now, the NCAA is settling (or at least trying to settle) its own lawsuit about sports-related concussions.
Under the proposed class action settlement, the NCAA will fund a $70 million pool of money to pay for former college athletes to undergo testing to determine whether they have brain injuries. The settlement will also have the NCAA set mandated “return to play” policy that all schools must follow instead of letting each school have its own policy. This would obviously help protect athletes in the future.
The settlement does not pay the athletes any damages for their concussions. Instead, the athletes would still have to sue their former schools or other parties to recover those damages. The test results that the NCAA is funding might be able to play a part in the eventual lawsuits.
This settlement is a long way from being final. It has to be approved by a judge and there are a number of people who intend to object to the settlement on various grounds. We’ll try to keep you posted because I think these type of developments are crucial to bringing public light to head injuries and they also help lead to better protocol for all levels of sports, not just colleges.
Here’s an ESPN news story about the settlement.