You had to know it was coming. As soon as the NFL settled with former NFL players over concussions and head injuries, it was just a matter of time before college players would follow suit—literally. Three college players, Chris Walker and Ben Martin, two former Tennessee players (2007-11), along with Dan Ahern, a former North Carolina State player (1972-76), filed the lawsuit in federal court in Chattanooga, Tenn., on Wednesday. The lead attorney from the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit, Michael Hausfeld, is representing the players. O’Bannon is currently suing the NCAA alleging they profited from using players likenesses.
The suit claims the NCAA was negligent in its prevention, education and treatment about concussions.
“Plaintiffs and the members of the Class have no adequate remedy at law in that monetary damages alone cannot compensate them for the increased risks of long-term physical and economic losses associated with brain injury,” the suit states, via the Birmingham News.
“Such relief should have been provided by the NCAA decades ago to its players, but even today it is sorely needed for former players,” the complaint stated. The lack of acknowledgement about the impact of concussions constitutes “negligence and reckless endangerment,” according to the suit.
These players may have some solid ground in this suit. A current lawsuit against the NCAA filed in 2011 for a similar complaint is currently being settled by the NCAA. That, coupled with the recent settlement between the NFL and former NFL players, may be the support they need when making their case.
“To some extent our two suits overlap in part,” Hausfeld told the paper, adding that there will be many more named plaintiffs. “The suit that’s been going on only seeks to represent more current players. We go further back. They only seek to represent 18 states. We’re going for the entire country. It’s a much more inclusive class of athletes.”
Football is a dangerous sport. It’s hard-hitting, full-contact, extreme physical nature makes long-term damage part of the game itself. That being said, as long as the NCAA and other entities continue to profit from it, they have an implied responsibility to protect their investments.
What do you think?
Your Jersey Girlfriend,