The recent settlement agreement between the NCAA and plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit is a significant development in the ongoing conversation about concussion injuries in college sports.
The lawsuit, which was filed several years ago, alleged that the NCAA had failed to adequately protect student-athletes from the risks of concussions and other head injuries. The settlement, which was announced in July 2021, includes a number of important provisions that aim to improve athlete safety and provide compensation for those who have been affected by head injuries.
One of the key elements of the settlement is a new set of guidelines for concussion protocols in college sports. The NCAA will now require schools to have a concussion management plan that includes procedures for identifying and assessing potential injuries, as well as guidelines for return-to-play decisions. Additionally, the settlement establishes a medical monitoring program for former NCAA athletes, which will include baseline testing and ongoing monitoring for potential symptoms of brain injuries.
Another important aspect of the settlement is the creation of a $70 million medical monitoring fund, which will be used to provide medical evaluations and testing for former NCAA athletes who may have suffered concussions or other head injuries. The fund will also cover the cost of any necessary treatment and medical expenses related to the injuries.
The settlement also includes provisions for research and education related to concussion injuries. The NCAA will be required to provide funding for research into the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of concussions, and will also be required to provide educational resources and training for athletes, coaches, and medical professionals on how to identify and manage head injuries.
Overall, the NCAA concussion settlement agreement is an important step forward in addressing the issue of head injuries in college sports. By establishing new guidelines for concussion protocols, creating a medical monitoring fund, and providing funding for research and education, the agreement aims to improve athlete safety and provide compensation for those who have been affected by head injuries. As the conversation about concussion injuries in sports continues, it is likely that we will see further developments and initiatives aimed at protecting the health and well-being of athletes at all levels.