NCAA Settles Head Injury Lawsuit
The NCAA has agreed to settle a class-action head injury lawsuit. A federal court ruling obtained by The Associated Press says the NCAA will create a $70 million fund to test current and former college athletes for brain injuries.
Players can use the results later as grounds for suing for damages.
The NCAA also agreed to implement a single return-to-play policy spelling out how all teams must treat players who receive blows to the head.
The settlement applies to multiple sports, including football, hockey, soccer, basketball, wrestling, field hockey and lacrosse. It covers both men and women.
The filing Tuesday in Chicago notifies a judge that the parties have struck a deal after nearly a year of talks.
Ten similar suits filed nationwide were consolidated into this lawsuit.
The Illinois High School Association board revised a policy this week regarding high school athletes who sustain head injuries during a game.
IHSA executive Kurt Gibson said students in Illinois have traditionally not been required to seek medical care the day after a head injury. He said according to the new policy, athletes must get care in the days after an incident happens, and they can only take part in a game if given clearance to do so by a licensed health care provider.
"We know so much more about concussions now than we did even a decade ago," Gibson said. "We realize and can see the need to have clear return to play policies in place in order to protect the safety of student athletes."
The policy change follows months of reports about long-term injuries sustained by athletes. The Center for Injury Research and Policy reports that about 20 percent of injuries during high school athletic competitions last year were diagnosed as concussions.
Scott Hamilton, the athletic director at Unity High School in Tolono, said he hopes the guidelines bring to the light the seriousness of sports-related injuries.
"There are so many different degrees of a kid getting hit or a kid falling or a kid bumping his head or two kids running into each other," Tolono said. "I think the important thing that's happening with all this is just awareness.