NCAA Joins Athletes in Bid to Approve Latest Concussion Deal

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The National Collegiate Athletic Association and athletes that sued it over head injuries asked a federal judge to approve a revised $75 million accord months after he rejected an earlier proposal.

Their request comes as the National Football League awaits a Philadelphia judge’s decision on whether to accept a $765 million plan to settle concussion cases in the professional game. The National Hockey League last month lost a bid to dismiss a claim that it failed to protect players from repeated head traumas in a sport the plaintiffs say glorifies violence.

In the NCAA case, lawyers for the athletes and college sports’ governing body submitted the proposal Tuesday to U.S. District Judge John Z. Lee in Chicago, who will hear arguments on Friday. In December, the judge rejected an earlier $75 million settlement, saying he was unsure the players who sued were representative of other athletes and if the $70 million earmarked for future medical monitoring was sufficient.

The new accord includes representative athletes who played both contact and non-contact sports, the lawyers said in a court filing. They again said the $70 million would fund 50 years of medical monitoring.

The NCAA, which is based in Indianapolis, has also agreed to donate $5 million for concussion-related research and to change colleges’ concussion-management and return-to-play policies. Under the deal, schools within the NCAA will have six months to adopt the new rules or face continued liability for past injuries.

The case is In re: NCAA Litigation, MDL 2492, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).

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