Three former college football players are suing the NCAA, saying it failed to educate them about the risks of concussions and did not do enough to prevent, diagnose and treat brain injuries.
Chris Walker and Ben Martin, who played for Tennessee from 2007-2011, and Dan Ahern, who played for North Carolina State from 1972-76, filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court in Chattanooga, Tenn., on Wednesday.
The complaint alleges the NCAA failed to meet its obligation to former players, and because of its neglect the players are “suffering the dramatic consequences.” The lawsuit wants the NCAA to fund a medical-monitoring program for former players.
The lawsuit is similar to one filed in federal court against the NCAA in 2011 in Illinois. Attorneys in that case recently asked a judge to make it a class-action suit.
NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy said the NCAA has not yet had the opportunity to review and evaluate the lawsuit.
Last week, the NFL agreed to pay more than three-quarters of a billion dollars to settle lawsuits from thousands of former players who developed dementia or other concussion-related health problems they say were caused by the game.
Walker and Martin were defensive ends for the Volunteers. Walker, who lives in Chattanooga, played 50 games during his career, the last two as a starter. He had 12 career sacks. Martin, who lives in Knoxville, Tenn., had 4.5 sacks in 45 games. Ahern, who lives in Pensacola, Fla., was an offensive lineman who earned letters for playing in 1974-75. None of them played in the NFL.
WEST TEXAS A&M PROBED
West Texas A&M athletic director Michael McBroom says the NCAA is investigating after the Canyon, Texas, university reported violations found during an internal audit of the football program.
McBroom said the school has self-imposed sanctions on the program after reviewing the audit. He did not disclose specifics or severity of the violations.
The announcement comes about two weeks after the Division II school fired coach Don Carthel, but McBroom said the NCAA investigation is unrelated to the incident that led to Carthel’s firing.
The new penalties for targeting in college football resulted in 10 ejections in 75 FBS games during the first weekend of the season, though three of the ejections were overturned by instant replay. The NCAA changed the penalty for targeting a defenseless player with a hit to the head to add an ejection to go with the 15-yard penalty this season. … The NCAA has denied Tulsa’s appeal in the academic eligibility case involving three-year starting safety Demarco Nelson. … Tennessee wide receiver/kick returner Devrin Young is expected to miss four to six weeks after breaking his hand during practice.