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Former college football players sue NCAA for brain injuries

Many people in Oklahoma City have read about the rash of lawsuits filed by former professional football players against the National Football League. In those lawsuits, athletes claim that the NFL failed to properly warn players of the dangers of playing football. Many players suffered serious brain injuries while playing that led to ongoing problems. Some have even died from problems that have now been associated with concussions or other traumatic brain injuries.

Professional football players, however, are not the only ones to face health risks because of their jobs. Three former college football players filed a lawsuit yesterday against the National Collegiate Athletic Association -- the sixth one the NCAA is facing.

The college players have similar complaints as those in the pros. The NCAA, the plaintiffs claim, made no effort to inform student-athletes of the possible long-term effects of playing football -- specifically those that stem from head impacts. The plaintiffs argue that the NCAA should have made an effort to educate players, especially now that more information about the long-term effects of head trauma is available.

One of the plaintiffs to the lawsuit, a 22-year-old former player, said a hard hit during a game left him with a serious head injury that affects him still. He gets irritable and dizzy regularly and requires medical monitoring. One of the other players suffers fatigue, memory loss, headaches and has trouble sleeping because of injuries sustained while playing college football.

While no players from Oklahoma are parties to the most recent lawsuit, which is seeking to gain class-action status, it is certainly likely that many athletes who have played for schools in our state sustained head injuries during their college careers.

Whether a serious brain injury was sustained playing football or in a car accident, it is important for victims to know that a negligent party can be held accountable. It will be interesting to see how the latest lawsuit against the NCAA is decided.

Source: Pioneer Press, "Former Gopher linebacker, 2 other sue NCAA over head trauma," David Hanners, Nov. 19, 2013

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