US college sports group makes concussion settlement deal

AFP
NCAA logo at the Georgia Dome on April 5, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia
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NCAA logo at the Georgia Dome on April 5, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia (AFP Photo/Streeter Lecka)

Indianapolis (AFP) - The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), governing body for the rich American university sports programs, reached a settlement in a concussion-related class action lawsuit Tuesday, similar to suits the NFL faced.

The NCAA will provide $70 million (52.1 million euros) for concussion testing and to diagnose current and former college athletes under the deal, which must still be approved by Chicago federal judge John Lee.

In all, 14 lawsuits were consolidated into one that was filed in US District Court in Illinois.

A similar deal between the NFL and former players involving concussions also had benefits capped until a judge objected, saying there was no assurance the sum would be enough to handle all of the cases that might come.

The NFL relented and made the potential payouts open-ended in the settlement.

The NCAA's deal, like that of the NFL, also had an educational component to inform athletes about research.

"We have been and will continue to be committed to student-athlete safety, which is one of the NCAA's foundational principles," NCAA chief medical officer Brian Hainline said.

"Medical knowledge of concussions will continue to grow, and consensus about diagnosis, treatment and management of concussions by the medical community will continue to evolve.

"This agreement's proactive measures will ensure student-athletes have access to high quality medical care by physicians with experience in the diagnosis, treatment and management of concussions."

Any student who competed at any NCAA member school within the past half century could qualify for physical examination, neurological measurements and assessments.

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