The NCAA has agreed to a preliminary settlement in a class-action head injury lawsuit brought by former college athletes, the governing body announced Tuesday.
Terms of the proposed agreement mandate that the NCAA will establish and pay for a $70 million medical monitoring fund. The money will allow any current or former athlete who competed in the last 50 years to undergo neurological screening and examination for any signs of brain damage or disease, such as CTE.
According to The New York Times, the settlement does not cover treatment costs or individual financial damages claims, meaning current and former athletes will still be able to sue on a case by case basis to seek personal injury damages.
Other terms of the settlement include $5 million for concussion research paid for by the NCAA and its member schools, increased concussion tracking by schools and confirmation of previously proposed concussion safety guidelines, the most significant of those being a rule that prevents athletes from returning to practice or a game the day they sustain a concussion.
Additionally, the NCAA admits no guilt or wrongdoing in the settlement.
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College athletes began taking legal action against the NCAA regarding head injury education and treatment in 2011, resulting in the eventual formation of a class action suit covering all college athletes.
The proposed settlement is subject to approval by U.S. District Court Judge John Lee.
The concussion lawsuit is part of several recent legal actions and oversight measures taken against the NCAA relating to player safety and athletes' rights. A vote for Power Five autonomy is scheduled for next month, which conference leaders say would lead to increased financial protections for athletes.
- Ben Estes