3 Former College Football Players Sue NCAA In Chattanooga Federal Court Over Concussion Issue

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Three former college football players, including a current Chattanooga resident, have filed suit in Chattanooga Federal Court against the NCAA over the issue of concussions.

The 29-page suit says the NCAA "has breached its duty to protect college football players in the face of long-standing and overwhelming evidence regarding the need to do so. The NCAA has ignored this duty and profited immensely from its inaction and denial, all to the detriment of the players."

It says the NCAA "has failed to educate its football-playing athletes of the long term, life-altering risks and consequences of head impacts in football. They have failed to establish known protocols to prevent, mitigate, monitor, diagnose and treat brain injuries."

The complaint was filed by Chris Walker of Chattanooga, a defensive end for the University of Tennessee 2007-2111; Ben Walker of Knoxville, a defensive end for the University of Tennessee 2007-2111; and Dan Ahern of Pensacola, Fla., an offensive guard for North Carolina State from 1972-1976.

It says Chris Walker during his college career "experienced repeated traumatic head impacts. For example, in the 2009 season he collided with another player in practice and experienced lightheadedness and nausea which he reported to the team trainer. In the same season in a game against the University of Mississippi, Mr. Walker sustained a hit that left him lightheaded and dizzy, and he was temporarily removed from the game. Mr. Walker believes that he suffered other similar head impacts in his college career, but cannot recall them with specificity. After graduation, Mr. Walker has experienced frequent severe headaches that have not been amenable to treatment by over-the-counter medication. Mr. Walker is at increased risk of latent brain injuries caused by repeated head impacts in his college football career and therefore is in need of medical monitoring."

It says Ben Martin during his college career "experienced repeated traumatic head impacts. For example, Mr. Martin recalls an impact to the head in a game against the University of Georgia, most likely during the 2009 season, in which he was blindsided and experienced lightheadedness and dizziness. He recalls returning to play the next time the defense took the field. Mr. Martin believes that he suffered other similar head impacts in his college career, but he cannot recall them with specificity. After graduation, Mr. Martin has experienced frequent headaches. Mr. Martin is at increased risk of latent brain injuries caused by repeated traumatic head impacts in his college football career and therefore is in need of medical monitoring."

The lawsuit says Dan Ahern during his college career "experienced repeated traumatic head impacts. For example, during his freshman year, he suffered a concussion in a spring scrimmage which required a two-night stay in the infirmary for observation. During his sophomore and junior seasons he believes he suffered other concussions, but he cannot recall them with specificity. During his senior year he suffered a concussion during a game against Pennsylvania State University and he was flown to Raleigh, North Carolina and hospitalized for observation. After graduation, Mr. Ahern has experienced an inability to concentrate, poor memory, a ringing in his ears, and sleeping problems. He has also suffered physical ailments and pain associated with these ailments leading to retirement at age 50 and disability as of 2007. Mr. Ahern is at increased risk of latent brain injuries caused by repeated traumatic head impacts and therefore is in need of medical monitoring."

The suit says, "Annual revenues for the NCAA in fiscal year 2007-2008 were $614 million. Almost 90% of the NCAA’s annual budget revenues stem from marketing and television rights, with only 9-10% coming from championship game revenues. The NCAA’s operations are also highly profitable. The direct expenses for operating the actual games that generated the $614 million in revenues were only $59 million."

It asks for a court-supervised, NCAA-funded, comprehensive medical monitoring program for affected foootball players, "which would facilitate the early diagnosis and adequate treatment of brain injury."

The suit, which seeks to become a class action, was filed by a number of leading law firms from around the country.

The case has been assigned to Judge Curtis Collier.




Hamilton County Principals Say Part 1 Of TN Ready Testing Should Be Cut Due To Online System Failure; School Board May Join Request

Hamilton County principals are asking that Part 1 of the TN Ready Assessment be dropped this year due to the recent crash of the online system for the program. The principals also asked that any Part 1 TN Ready test results  not be applied to students’ grades or to evaluations and rankings for school personnel and school districts. County school board member ... (click for more)

2 Known Gang Members Arrested Thursday After Fleeing A Traffic Stop

Earlier on Thursday an officer with the Chattanooga Police Department's Neighborhood Policing Division initiated a traffic stop on a known violent criminal. The stop ended in the arrest of two validated gang members.    At the corner of Citico Avenue and North Chamberlain Avenue an officer observed a vehicle traveling southbound at a high rate of speed.  The ... (click for more)

Innocent Until Proven Guilty, Even Athletes

From reading Randy Smith's column on the lawsuit against UT it is pretty evident that he never took a legal course in his life. I was under the impression that in this country one was innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. It appears this no longer applies to athletes(particularly black athletes) in the U.S. in 2016. I have always said that if I am picked for jury duty ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Warmth For Cold Days

I come across all sorts of warm things every day and as we burrow out of sub-freezing temperatures for a day or two, shaking off ice and snow, allow me to share a few things for a change that may take the bite out of the winter wind. This is what helps me. * * * Judy Bellenfant, who has been a soul mate ever since we shared jokes in high school classrooms, sends along this ... (click for more)

Hawks Alexander, Walker Invited To NBA All-Star Weekend

Hamilton Heights Christian Academy announced today that varsity basketball players Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Nickeil Alexander-Walker, both nationally ranked juniors, will take part in the NBA All-Star weekend in Toronto, Canada. Alexander has been chosen to participate in the NBA’s second Basketball without Borders Global camp. Players are selected based on their outstanding ... (click for more)

Red Bank Picked To Win Region 2-A/AA Wrestling

It appears that the Red Bank Lions will be the target for teams involved in the Region 2-A/AA wrestling tournament being held at Hixson Middle School this weekend. The Lions, fresh off Saturday's A-AA State Duals title, are the early favorites for the upcoming tournament after claiming six number-one seeds in the 14 weight classes during the seeding meeting held Wednesday at ... (click for more)