Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - The NCAA has reached a proposed settlement in its concussion-related class action lawsuits.
The NCAA will provide $70 million for concussion testing and diagnosis of current and former student-athletes as part of the agreement that needs to be approved by Judge John Lee of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
It also includes educational initiatives and $5 million in concussion research, resolving the 14 pending class actions that were consolidated in a Chicago federal court.
"We have been and will continue to be committed to student-athlete safety, which is one of the NCAA's foundational principles," said NCAA chief medical officer Brian Hainline in a statement Tuesday. "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."
Under the proposed agreement, all current and former NCAA student-athletes in all sports and divisions who competed at an NCAA member school within the past 50 years may qualify for physical examination, neurological measurements and neurocognitive assessments. The agreement covers academic accommodations for student-athletes with concussions, return-to-play guidelines, educational programs, research and plaintiffs' attorney fees.
Bodily injury claims are not part of this settlement.
The NCAA and plaintiffs' attorneys arrived at the $70 million figure by calculating the cost to develop and administer the testing and diagnostic program based on the number of current and former student-athletes, as well as a progressive estimate of medical costs.