With fall fast approaching, many in Madison may be looking forward to college and professional football. However, despite the popularity of football in the U.S., recent discoveries showing how playing the sport may put participants at a greater risk of suffering serious brain injuries has caused alarm in many circles. Included in these are those tasked with regulating football at the highest levels in the country. Recent class action lawsuits filed by both former professional and college football players have made some headway in raising awareness of this issue, yet for the most part, individual judgments awarded to players and their families have been few and far between.
A recent case involving the death of a player at a Maryland college has changed that. The $1.2 million awarded to the family of the fallen player represents the first major settlement involving in the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The lawsuit centered on the treatment (or lack thereof) of the player, who had complained of headaches during practice after suffering a concussion. It was reported that the player’s coaches dismissed his complaints, even going so far as to accuse him of whining. After resuming team drills, the player collapsed and later died. Three members of the school’s coaching staff, along with the companies that manufactured and sold the helmet the player had been using, were listed as co-defendants with the NCAA.