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NCAA proposes $75M settlement of concussion lawsuits filed by college players

NCAA proposes $75M settlement of concussion lawsuits filed by college players

The National Collegiate Athletic Association on Tuesday filed a proposed $75 million settlement of several consolidated class action suits brought by athletes who suffered concussions while playing college sports.

Under the proposed settlement, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago, the NCAA will provide $70 million for concussion testing and diagnosis of current and former NCAA student-athletes and $5 million for concussion research.

While the settlement addresses the class action, it would not prevent athletes and former athletes from bringing individual personal injury claims against universities and the NCAA, according to the proposed settlement.

Regarding how the settlement will be paid, an NCAA spokeswoman said, “We are still working through the details, but funding sources are expected to include payments from NCAA insurance carriers.”

The settlement would potentially include all current and former NCAA student-athletes in all sports and divisions who competed at an NCAA member school within the past 50 years, with members of that group who qualify through a written screening process being eligible for physical examinations, neurological measurements and neurocognitive assessments, according to the proposed settlement.

The settlement also provides for changes to the NCAA's concussion management policies and return-to-play guidelines, including required baseline testing for every player before every season, a ban on players diagnosed with concussions returning to play the same day and a requirement that athletes who have suffered a concussion be cleared by a doctor before returning to play.

The settlement also would require the presence of medical personnel trained in the diagnosis and management of concussions at all contact sports games; the implementation of reporting mandates for concussions and their resolution; concussion education for students, coaches, trainers, physicians and teachers; and academic accommodations for student-athletes who have suffered concussions.

The settlement requires approval of the judge overseeing the case and notification of members of the class, a process that could take several months.

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