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Football is one of those sports where the fans delight in the big plays and the big hits. But, over the last few years, after the controversy over player concussions and the link to long-term illness was exposed, big hits are now seen as big risks.
This month, another federal lawsuit was filed against the NCAA by former college football players alleging long-term injuries related to concussions suffered while playing college ball. The five players are all alleging that the NCAA, as well as the Big 12 conference, failed to warn and protect players from the long-term risks of concussions.
NCAA Concussion Cases
These cases tend to have the same basic allegation: the schools, conferences, and leagues knew about the concussion risks, ignored them, and profited wildly, all while the student athletes bore the human cost for no compensation. This most recent lawsuit, filed in a federal court in Indiana, seeks to hold the NCAA and conference liable for the injuries and on-going medical care of injured players.
After the $75 million class action settlement was given preliminary approval last year, individual players began filing lawsuits across the country as a result of long-term concussion injuries. The big settlement includes terms that affect the NCAA and college players both current and former, however, it excludes individual players' injury claims.
These cases have shed light on the dangers of suffering repeated concussions, as well as the health risks involved with playing full contact sports. Over the last few years, the NCAA, as well as the NFL, NHL, and other sports leagues, have begun to officially recognize the dangers of concussions. The NCAA promulgated new practice guidelines in an effort to reduce concussion injuries. The new guidelines suggest that teams should only have one full contact practice per week, with other practices having varying levels of lesser contact.