Coming next to the NCAA?

I’ve been wanting to write about this subject for a long time. I just never got around to it… like a lot of other things…

Settling in with my morning tea and coffee cake, I opened the crisp pages of the sports section, and noticed an article neatly tucked among the miscellaneous stories…

Six former NFL players, including Jim McMahon and a current player, have sued the NFL over the league’s handling of concussion related injuries.

This is the first potential class action lawsuit of its kind.

Plaintiffs want better medical monitoring along with funds to pay for care of the injured players.

According to the newspaper article, the complaint filed with a court in Philadelphia includes allegations that the league clubs trained players to hit with their heads, failed to properly treat players with concussions, and tried to conceal for decades any links between football and brain injuries. The suit accuses the NFL of negligence and intentional misconduct in its responses to players’ headaches, dizziness, and dementia as reported by former players.

In July, 75 players sued the NFL alleging the league knew since the 1920s of the harmful effects, but concealed such knowledge fron players, coaches, and trainers – and the public – until June 2010.
Riddell, a company that manufactures football helmets, was also named as a defendant.

***

Football is a violent sport. Always has been and will be. The violence adds to the drama of the sport.

I’m reminded of Vol center Cody Pope who last year suffered concussions and eventually left the sport. Early on, I think before his problems were diagnosed as concussion, Coach Dooley said something like ‘there is always some kind of drama going on with Cody’.

I remember thinking, ‘what if he has a concussion?’

The July suit alleges “the league knew since the 1920s of the harmful effects, but concealed such knowledge from players, coaches, and trainers – and the public – until June 2010.”

This is the type of argument used against corporations for successful billion-dollar product liability cases.

As college athletics begins to slowly unravel around the edges, a major concussion case could accelerate the process.

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