NCAA and plaintiffs agree to settlement in class-action head injury lawsuit

NCAA and plaintiffs agree to settlement in class-action head injury lawsuit

As part of a settlement agreement with the plaintiffs in a class-action head injury lawsuit on Tuesday, the NCAA will create a $70 million fund to help diagnose and investigate head trauma suffered by college athletes.

However, there's a distinct difference from this settlement and the settlement the NFL reached with former players who had sued because of head injuries.

From the AP:

Unlike a proposed settlement in a similar lawsuit against the NFL, this deal stops short of setting aside money to pay players who suffered brain trauma. Instead, athletes can sue individually for damages and the NCAA-funded tests to gauge the extent of neurological injuries could establish grounds for doing that.

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The filing serves as notice to the federal judge overseeing the class-action case that the parties struck a deal after nearly a year of negotiations. In addition to football, ice hockey and soccer, the settlement also applies to all men and women who participated in basketball, wrestling, field hockey and lacrosse.

In June, the NFL and former players agreed to a revised settlement regarding the lawsuit between the two surrounding head trauma. Per the new agreement, there will be no limit to the funds paid out "to any retired player who develops a qualifying neurocognitive condition."

There will also be new, standard, NCAA rules about how schools should handle concussions. In 2010, the NCAA said that players should be kept from playing for "at least" a day. You can see how there could be a lot of differences in the interpretation and application of that rule by colleges and universities.

The class-action suit is the combination of 10 lawsuits filed against the NCAA. Former Eastern Illinois safety Adrian Arrington is the lead plaintiff. A federal district judge must approve the terms of the settlement. According to the AP, the settlement does not limit the number of players who played college athletics who can be tested for brain trauma. Because there's no payout as part of the settlement the players can then also individually file suit for damages.


Earlier in July, the NCAA instituted new parameters for contact in practice and concussions, limiting the number of full-contact practices in the regular season to no more than two per week. And in May, the NCAA announced a $30 million study in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense to research concussions.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!