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NCAA concussion case going to mediation

Nick Bromberg
Dr. Saturday

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The possibility of mediation in the concussion lawsuit against the NCAA is becoming a reality.

The NCAA and the plaintiffs, led by Adrian Arrington, a former Eastern Illinois defensive back, are set for mediation in November in a concussion lawsuit that was filed two years ago.

"If we're able to settle the case in November and get this through [it] would change the game forever," plaintiffs attorney Joseph Siprut told CBS Sports.

Earlier in September, lawyers for the plaintiffs in this lawsuit sought to dismiss a similar suit filed in Tennessee under the "first-to-file" rule, saying that both suits were extremely similar. The plaintiffs in the Tennessee lawsuit were two former Tennessee football players and a former player from N.C. State.

According to CBS, Arrington's attorneys are looking to make the suit a class-action lawsuit, which could potentially open up the damages from any settlement to "thousands" of former players. The suit asks for medical monitoring relief for players in football and six other sports since 2004, and a class-action suit would include all players on NCAA rosters since then.

The plaintiffs say they have evidence from the NCAA that almost half of member schools returned players to participation the day after a concussion or concussion related-symptoms.

In August, the NFL reached a $765 million settlement with its former players in a similar concussion lawsuit. Nearly 4,500 NFL players were involved in that suit against the league. Payments from the settlement will be done incrementally. If the NCAA and the plaintiffs in its concussion lawsuit reach an agreed upon figure, it would likely be structured the same way.

The NCAA is also involved in litigation with the Ed O'Bannon lawsuit, which was filed to provide monetary compensation for athletes who received none while the NCAA profited from licensing fees. The plaintiffs in that case are also seeking class certification, which would open any damages up to thousands of players as well. Just last week, the NCAA asked to have the suit dismissed.

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