TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES IN NCAA SPORTS

American FootballOvershadowed by the NFL’s $1 billion settlement, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is also facing legal intervention relating to concussions.  The NCAA allegedly failed to inform student-athletes of the risks and implement policies to protect its players from the long-term effects of concussions.  In 2010, the NCAA approved legislation requiring schools to create guidelines for handling concussions.

For many, 2010 was too late with approximately 10% of all college football players sustained a form of brain injury.[1]  Additionally, those who continued to play before a full recovery are six times as likely to sustain a new injury, known as second impact syndrome.[2]  Although the guidelines were put in place, former players struggling with brain disorders were not provided compensation or treatment.

An Eastern Illinois football player first brought suit against the NCAA.  Adrian Arrington said he experienced numerous concussions while playing, and now suffers from memory loss, depression, and regular migraines.  The basis for Arrington’s lawsuit is that the NCAA failed to enact and enforce stricter guidelines for the kind of play most likely to create a TBI.  Many athletes, prior to enforced concussion protocols, are told to “shake it off” and get back to playing.

As the number of lawsuits have built up behind Arrington, the NCAA is in the process of setting up a $75 million settlement for NCAA athletes that suffered or are suffering from the effects of TBIs.  Although football is the most common sport with a risk for concussions, the proposed settlement will cover contact and non-contact sports.  The money will be used for a fifty year, $70 million medical monitoring program for college athletes as well as $5 million put towards research, treatment, and prevention.  In addition to the settlement, some individual lawsuits will be permitted to allow individuals the opportunity to recover for their injuries.

If you took part in NCAA athletics and are suffering the long-term effects of concussions, an experienced attorney may be able to help.  The long-term effects of traumatic brain injuries can be severe.  If you believe you or a loved one suffered as a result of a traumatic brain injury it is important you seek medical attention.  Contact the Amaro Law Firm today for a free consultation.

[1] http://cfafund.org/faqs

[2] http://www.allabouttbi.com/sports-related-traumatic-brain-injury/

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