On Tuesday, July 29, a preliminary settlement in a class-action head injury lawsuit against the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) made headlines across the United States. With over 1.4 million former college athletes in contact sports, the effects of such a settlement promise to be very influential in the world of college athletics.
So what are the important points of the proposed settlement? We’re here to break down the major implications that the settlement would have for college athletes and athletic programs.
1) A new national protocol for head injuries in college sports. The new requirements would include several changes:
- Preventing athletes from returning to a game or practice on the same day that they sustained a concussion.
- Requiring trained medical personnel to be on site for all contact sports events.
- Requiring a preseason baseline test for all college athletes, in order to help track the effects of concussions and other brain injuries.
- Increasing concussion tracking by universities.
2) A $70 million medical monitoring fund. The NCAA would use the fund to pay for former and current college athletes to undergo neurological screening to find signs of brain damage. It is expected that tens of thousands of former and current student athletes would qualify for this testing. However, medical treatment for athletes following diagnosis would not be financed by the NCAA unless the individual brought a lawsuit against the organization.
In addition, the proposed settlement would not provide financial compensation to individuals involved in the lawsuit. Instead, the players would be able to sue individually for damages following the settlement.
3) $5 million for concussion research. The NCAA would contribute $5 million towards research on concussions and their effects. Research produced by its member universities could also count towards this amount.
While the effects would be wide-reaching, the proposed settlement has not yet been finalized. It must first be approved by a judge, who must conduct a hearing where players can voice their concerns about the settlement. Only then will colleges and affected athletes be able to determine the next steps in taking action.
How are you keeping track of your athletes’ health information? Presagia Sports is an Athlete Electronic Health Record and injury management system with an integrated SCAT3 concussion assessment tool. Available anytime and anywhere, Presagia’s solutions centralize health information, facilitate communication and streamline treatment to help athletic organizations worldwide improve athlete health and performance. Contact us if you would like to learn more!