Collegiate sports programs across the country draw fans and big money from sponsors and donors. For students, these athletic programs provide an opportunity to further their education while playing the sports they love. While some will go on to professional sports careers, some will find their athletic careers permanently sidelined after suffering traumatic brain injuries.
To help protect their fellow players, thousands of former student-athletes sued the NCAA. In their suit, the athletes argued that the NCAA has actively promoted sports programs while neglecting to provide adequate safety protection and monitoring for players.
“The settlement requires the NCAA to set up a $70 million fund to be used for treating and testing players who claim they have suffered head injuries while playing college sports. The fund will cover players involved in both contact, and non-contact sports,” commented Chicago injury attorney Michael Cogan.
In addition to providing greater protection for young athletes, $5 million of the fund has been allocated to support research into better protocols and treatment for head injuries. These funds will help schools develop safer sports programs. It will also make it possible for them to provide more immediate and targeted treatment to injured players.
The CDC estimates that up to 34% of college football players have experienced at least one concussion in the past year, and 30% have had two or more concussions. Since 2000, 26 players have died from traumatic brain injuries suffered on the field. Given the size of the problem and the long-term consequences of brain injuries, it’s not surprising that the courts sided with the players.
“What makes this lawsuit unique is the inclusion of non-contact sports which are often overlooked as causes of traumatic brain injury. This means that cheerleading, basketball, baseball, and other athletic programs will now be afforded the same attention and protection as contact sports such as football, rugby, and hockey,” remarked Chicago injury attorney Michael Cogan.