The Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law
Andrew Brandt, Director
Samantha Epstein, Fellow and MSLJ Production Editor

On July 30, 2014

Re: Legal Memo on NCAA Proposed Concussion Settlement


On July 29, 2014, the NCAA reached a $70 million settlement in the several concussion-related class action suits in which it has been named since 2011. The settlement comes less than a month after U.S. District Judge Anita Brody granted preliminary approval to the NFL’s historic settlement, compensating thousands of former NFL players for concussion related claims.

Unlike the NFL settlement, the NCAA agreement will not directly compensate student-athletes who suffered brain trauma, but rather will provide for the administration of NCAA –funded testing to determine the extent of an athletes’ neurological injuries, as the foundation for future claims by players for monetary damages against the NCAA and its individual member institutions.

The central components of the proposed agreement are as follows:

  • $70 million for new concussion testing programs to aid in the diagnosis of current and former NCAA student-athletes,
  • Institution of a Medical Monitoring Program, designed to determine the extent of an athlete’s injuries and the course of post-concussion symptomology,
  • Establishment of a Medical Science Committee, tasked with the monitoring and administration of the Medical Monitoring Program,
  • Educational initiatives,
  • Application of necessary and appropriate academic accommodations for affected athletes,
  • New “return-to-play” guidelines, and
  • $5 million toward concussion research.

The terms and conditions of the settlement await preliminary approval by federal Judge John Lee of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. If the NFL concussion settlement is of any indication, this preliminary approval and subsequent fairness hearing is likely to take months to resolve.

For further detail on the terms and conditions of the NCAA proposed settlement, please see the attached memo summary. Click here.




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