By Ken Reed
Former Eastern Illinois safety Adrian Arrington, through attorney Joseph Siprut, is suing the NCAA, claiming “for over 30 years, the NCAA has failed its student-athletes — choosing instead to sacrifice them on the altar of money and profits ….”
Siprut says the NCAA has not actively protected, treated or advised its football players who have suffered brain trauma, according to a recent article by the Chicago Tribune‘s Rick Telander. Siprut is hoping to eventually make his suit a class-action lawsuit.
“The facts are that Arrington was concussed so many times that he is, for now, at least, a ruined young man. All from football.” writes Telander. “At risk is the very existence of the game.”
Siprut says his goal isn’t to ban football, but his lawsuit could be a major step in that direction, at least at the small college, high school and youth levels.
“My goal is not to ban football,” says Siprut, who has a young boy, Joe Jr., whom he doesn’t want playing the game. “But if through the process of dialogue, reasonable people feel it’s too dangerous to play, I’ll be able to sleep at night.”
It likely will be economics pressures rather than safety concerns that spell the end for football at the high school level.
“Some kind of legal action could create a domino effect and dry up the feeder programs,” said Kevin Grier, a University of Oklahoma economics professor. “These lawsuits and (possible) judgments will put more pressure on insurance companies, and that will put more pressure on schools.”
Siprut says his lawsuit is focusing on the NCAA because its officials knew as early as 2003 that multiple concussions could lead to health problems, yet did not require colleges to have concussion policies until 2010.
Kudos to both Siprut and Arrington, and any other players that step up, for putting legal pressure on the NCAA.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group, whose mission is to defend academic integrity in higher education from the corrosive aspects of commercialized college sports.
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Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
Episode #4 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Biggest Issue in Sports Today? Brain Trauma – The guest is Patrick Hruby, a journalist who has done extensive research and in-depth writing on the topic of brain trauma in sports, most notably football.
Episode #3 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Coaching Styles with Sports Sociologist Jay Coakley – The guest is veteran sports sociologist Jay Coakley, a former college athlete who went on to earn a Ph.D. in Sociology from Notre Dame.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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