All former pro football players that participated in NCAA Football or other NCAA-sanctioned sports should have received a notice of a proposed Settlement regarding an NCAA Concussion Settlement.
Although the Court has not yet resolved the merits of the lawsuit, or determined whether the Class Representatives’ or the NCAA’s contentions are true, the Parties have agreed to settle the Litigation. The NCAA denies all allegations of wrongdoing and liability and believes that its conduct was lawful. The NCAA, however, is settling to avoid the substantial cost, inconvenience and disruption of litigation. The Class Representatives and their attorneys believe that the Settlement is in the best interests of the Settlement Class because it provides an appropriate remedy for Settlement Class Members now, while avoiding the substantial risk, expense and delay of pursuing the case through trial and any appeals.The lawsuit claimed that the NCAA was negligent and breached its duty to protect all current and former student-athletes by failing to adopt appropriate rules regarding concussions.
As part of the Settlement, the NCAA has agreed to a Medical Monitoring Fund of $70 Million, which, after deducting administrative costs, and attorney’s fees and expenses, will fund the screening of Class Members as well as medical evaluations for those Class Members who qualify as a result of the screening during the 50-year term of the Medical Monitoring Program. The medical evaluations will be designed to assess symptoms related to persistent post-concussion syndrome, as well as cognitive, mood, behavioral, and motor problems that may be associated with mid, to late-life onset diseases that may be linked to concussions and/or sub-concussive hits, such as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopothy and related disorders. In addition, the NCAA has committed $5 Million to fund research regarding the prevention, diagnosis, care, and management of concussions and mid- to late-life neurodegenerative disease. The NCAA has also agreed to change its policies and procedures for concussion management and return to play.
I should note that, unlike the NFL Concussion Settlement, there are no monetary awards and no free treatment or prescriptions for Class members under the Settlement. Additionally, the lawyers fees and expenses will be taken out of the $70 Million.
If you haven’t already done so, please visit the NFL Concussion Settlement website and click on the button at the bottom of the Homepage that says “Sign up for future information.” Here is a link to the website: NFL Concussion Settlement Website.
It is important to do this, especially if you are not represented by an attorney and are not receiving regular updates. There are approximately 5,000 former players that have retained lawyers and 15,000 that have not.
Once you have given them your information, the administrators of the website will send you updated information letting you know when the Registration process will begin. They will also provide information about deadlines, getting evaluated through the BAP (Baseline Assessment Program) and the process for filing claims for monetary awards and accessing prescriptions and medical treatment, if you are eligible.
Once the registration process begins, former players will have only 180 days (6 months) to register for Settlement benefits. If you do not register, you will NEVER be able to access the benefits of the Settlement.
In most big class action Settlements, approximately 20 to 30 percent of eligible members do not participate for one reason or another. If that were to hold true in this Settlement, anywhere from 4,200 to 6,300 former players would be left in the cold with no recourse.
Let’s prevent that from happening by spreading the word and making sure all our alumni brothers are aware of the Settlement provisions and deadlines.
As you all know, Shawn Wooden was one of our class representatives on the NFL Concussion Settlement. Our other class rep, Kevin Turner, passed away on March 24, 2016 after a long battle with ALS – God rest his soul.
Shawn wrote an article posted at The Players’ Tribune website at this link: The Long Game. In the article Shawn says "I have the honor of representing retired players who do not currently suffer from serious cognitive conditions like dementia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s or ALS, but who are worried and need protection for the future."
I fall into the group that Shawn was representing. I know that I will not be eligible for an award right now. At the same time, I also know that NFL players are much more likely, than the general public, to develop serious cognitive impairments later in life and I want to make sure that me and my family are covered in the event that I should develop symptoms at a later date. It's an insurance policy - one that I hope I never collect.
Do yourself and your family a big favor and make sure you sign up for more information at the NFL Concussion Settlement website and then Register for benefits when the process begins.
One Hundred and Twenty-two of our alumni brothers passed away in 2016. You can view the list of players in the screen below. Th first list is in alphabetic order and the second list is arranged by the date of death.
I want to thank Ken Crippen, from the Pro Football Researchers Association, with assembling the data. Here is a link to their website: Pro Football Researchers Association. I encourage you to become a member.
Send up a prayer to all the families and friends that these former players leave behind.
Remember......................someday all of our names will be on this list!
Your Alumni brother,
Matt Snorton, was inadvertently left off the second list. He played for the 1964 Denver Broncos (AFL) and passed away on December 30, 2016. He was 74 years old.