The NCAA will provide $70 million to settle claims in several concussion-related class actions.
The organization announced Tuesday morning that the money will pay for concussion testing and diagnosis of current and former NCAA student-athletes as a part of its agreement, which also includes educational initiatives and $5 million in concussion research. The agreement still must be approved by a federal judge.
Earlier this month, a federal judge granted preliminary approval to a deal that would compensate thousands of former NFL players for concussion-related claims.
The NCAA said its proposed agreement means all current and former student-athletes in all sports and divisions who competed at an NCAA member school within the past 50 years could qualify for physical examination, neurological measurements and neurocognitive assessments. In addition, the NCAA said, the agreement covers academic accommodations for student-athletes with concussions and return-to-play guidelines.
Among the return-to-play guidelines are baseline concussion testing of NCAA student-athletes, the establishment of a process for schools to report diagnosed concussions and their resolution and that a physician clears all athletes who have suffered a concussion. In addition, the agreement says medical personnel who have "training in the diagnosis, treatment and management of concussions" must be present for all games and available during all practices.
"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 in a release. "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."
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.