NCAA Reaches $70M Settlement Over Head Injuries

Organization will pay for athletes' health testing
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2014 9:50 AM CDT
NCAA Reaches $70M Settlement Over Head Injuries
FILE - In this Sept. 1, 2005 file photo, South Carolina's Stanley Doughty (55) celebrates with his teammates after stopping Central Florida from scoring during an NCAA college football game in Columbia, S.C. Doughty is one of the plaintiffs in a class-action head injury lawsuit working its way through...   (AP Photo/Perry Baker, File)

The NCAA has reached a deal in a lawsuit brought by former players: The organization will pay to test athletes for brain trauma on the field. Though it admits no wrongdoing in the settlement, the NCAA will establish a $70 million fund to cover the tests, the AP reports. The governing body hasn't agreed to pay injured players directly, but the diagnoses could serve as grounds for future lawsuits against the NCAA by individual players. Current and former players are eligible for the screenings. "It’s hard to create one class that includes swimmers and football players, given how different their athletic careers are," a lawyer for the plaintiffs tells the New York Times. "We felt individuals remain best off bringing individual suits."

The deal, which still requires a judge's approval, also lays out rules for dealing with possible concussions as they occur. In the past, players have been put back into games after showing signs of concussions. The new rules would bar victims from playing again the same day and require medical teams at every contact sport event, the Times reports. With the announcement of the settlement, the AP tells some of the plaintiffs' stories, with one player describing how he felt "like a 22-year-old with Alzheimer's" after injuries. (More NCAA stories.)

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