The National Collegiate Athletic Association announced on Tuesday it had reached a tentative agreement to settle a class-action lawsuit over concussions in college sports. Rather than pay damages, the association has laid out terms that will have implications for current, former, and future college athletes. Here’s a breakdown:
If you used to play college sports, you are eligible for a medical evaluation for head injuries at the NCAA’s expense. It doesn’t matter what sport you played or when you played it, as long as it was NCAA-sanctioned.
If you play college sports right now, you are also eligible for the screenings. In addition, if you play basketball, field hockey, football, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, or wrestling, you’ll see some new rules intended to protect you from concussions. Among them: After suffering a concussion, you will not be allowed to return to a game or practice that day; you will have a medical trainer present at all of your games and practices; and you will be tested before a season starts to establish a baseline for tracking purposes.
If you don’t play college sports now but will in the future, and if you play one of the aforementioned contact sports, you will be subject to the same rules. You are not eligible for the screenings.
Along with $70-million for a medical-monitoring fund, financed by the NCAA and its insurers, the association and its member colleges will pay $5-million for research into concussions.
For more context, read the results of a Chronicle investigation that revealed that more than half of the athletic trainers surveyed had felt pressured by coaches to return a player to the field who wasn’t medically ready. And read the Chronicle reporter Paul Voosen on the state of concussion research.