By Ken Reed

USA Today ran an in-depth front page story late last week about an important concussion lawsuit filed against the NCAA in 2011 by lead plaintiff Adrian Arrington, a former Eastern Illinois football player, and his lawyer, Joseph Siprut.

That article follows a recent Sports Illustrated piece that provides a peek at some damning evidence against the NCAA.

A key excerpt from the USA Today article:

Plaintiffs’ attorneys assert the NCAA’s internal emails conveyed a casual attitude toward the handling of concussions.

When David Klossner, the NCAA’s director of health and safety, pushed in early 2010 for stronger guidelines regarding concussions, Ty Halpin, the director of playing rules administration, wrote to a colleague, “Dave is hot/heavy on the concussion stuff. He’s been trying to force our rules committees to put in rules that are not good — I think I have finally convinced him to calm down.”

In the Sports Illustrated piece, citing a Washington Times report, this nugget was revealed:

In February 2010, Abe Frank, the managing director of government relations [for the NCAA], asked Klossner if “the [federal concussion] recommendations for youth sports would go beyond what is required at the college level?”

Klossner responded: “Well, since we don’t currently require anything, all steps are higher than ours.”

Moreover, there was a shocking and sobering research finding outlined in the Washington Times report:

An internal NCAA survey released in 2010 showed 50 percent of responding schools didn’t require a concussed athlete to see a physician and around half would return an athlete to the same game after suffering a concussion. Just 66 percent of schools used baseline testing; of those that didn’t, 70 percent indicated cost was a factor and 48 percent regarded the process as too time-consuming.

League of Fans interviewed Siprut about this case. You can see that interview here.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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