Perhaps it was just a matter of time—with over $750 million committed by the NFL to settle a lawsuit from over 400 players. Now, three former college football players are suing the NCAA, saying it failed to educate them about the risks of concussions and didn't do enough to prevent, diagnose, and treat brain injuries.
The players who filed the class-action suit in federal court in Chattanooga are Chris Walker and Ben Martin, who recently played for Tennessee, and Dan Ahern, who played for North Carolina State in the 70’s.
The complaint alleges that the NCAA failed to meet its obligation to former players and that because of its neglect the players are suffering the consequences. While details are still in short supply, the suit asks for a medical monitoring program for former football players, to be funded by the NCAA.
A question yet to be answered is why the NCAA was targeted in the suit, but not the players’ respective universities, which may have had more direct knowledge of the players’ health and injuries.
Beyond that, if these players successfully execute suits involving the NCAA, their universities, their athletic departments, their trainers, and/or their coaches, then what is next? Former high school players, middle school players, even youth players in the city leagues? And who will be the target —schools, trainers, coaches, even city governments and school boards?
The NFL settlement was certainly the first major step in addressing some of the issues faced by the various participants in this complex subject. Where the next foot will fall will likely become apparent in the near future.
*Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefenderTM products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.