Silence doesn’t come cheaply.

I know that some of you questioned the size of the settlement the Sheely family reportedly received from the state of Maryland in light of the amount being pursued in their lawsuit.

Perhaps you should have waited until you heard the other shoe drop.

The NCAA and other co-defendants will pay $1.2 million to a foundation created for a Division III football player who died from a head injury, according to settlement terms released Monday.

Derek Sheely was a Frostburg State football player who collapsed during a 2011 practice after sustaining a head injury and later died. Two years later, his family sued the NCAA, two Frostburg State coaches, an athletic trainer and the helmet manufacturer. The family claimed the school employees missed multiple chances to treat Sheely’s injury and the NCAA had responsibility by failing to implement concussion protocol rules or investigating his death.

The case was scheduled for a five-week trial in June before a settlement was reached.

That’s a lot of money to keep Mark Emmert away from answering questions in a deposition.  But if you’re the NCAA’s attorneys, it was probably worth it.

Donald Remy thinks it’s all good.

“While the settlement acknowledges no admission of liability by the NCAA, the NCAA believes this settlement will help the foundation advance research and education in the prevention of traumatic brain injury,” NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy said in a statement. “As a leader in promoting enhanced safety in college sports, the NCAA is firmly committed to fostering greater understanding of student-athlete well-being.”

Whatever helps you sleep at night, bro.


Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

12 responses to “Silence doesn’t come cheaply.

  1. Gaskilldawg

    Of course, the NCAA, in furtherance of its commitment to fostering greater understanding of student-athlete well-being could always, without the necessity of defending a lawsuit, invested $1.2 million of its money in prevention of traumatic brain injury.

    But it never would have but for the lawsuit.


  2. Silence is golden (as far as the NCAA is concerned).


  3. Macallanlover

    I am no supporter of Emmert, or the NCAA, but I don’t think they should pay one penny. Doubt they were ever on that campus, or had any say in the hiring of that trainer, coaching staff, etc. The only people with responsibility lived in that household, or worked for the school in some capacity, and even that doesn’t mean filing a lawsuit is justified. Even the helmet company should not be held responsible unless their product was defective from what they advertised, or claimed it would do.

    A horrible result of an accident that happens in every spectator sport in the history of mankind. There is always a “lawyer” willing to chase any situation that involves potential access to money, they advertise everyday on your local TV stations. And we all pay for the silliness of the excessive settlements given, it is built into every product and service we use. There is no end to how far you can reach when attempting to assign blame, but you can bet it will be all the way to the person/company/institution that has the deepest pockets, because that is what it is always about, always.


    • Why is lawyer in scare marks?


      • Macallanlover

        Because I consider ambulance chasers to be a special class of lawyers that should be segregated from others. That doesn’t mean all other lawyers are necessarily clean, but I just don’t lump them all together and feel this specialty area has to be evaluated differently. I have nothing against legit wrong doing being punished, but feel most of these cases are overly prosecuted.

        That is quite the broad interpretation of Judge Boynton. So while he may have addressed it, it seems an over reach and going too far, imo. Throughout my athletic career, which goes back decades and I am sure is emphasized even more today, all participants and their guardians sign releases acknowledging an assumption of risk and the likelihood/possibility of injuries and danger.

        I see nothing indicating where the NCAA walked away from their concern for injuries and don’t feel they can legislate every circumstance where an injury can occur. Where that line is drawn is obviously the issue, does the sport still exist if you push this to the limit? I don’t think so. As I stated, I feel if there is a legit cause it would lie with the coaching staff and medical team on site….but that is already known by those seeking cash money. This is a time I agree with your “it’s all about the money” philosophy.


        • Except the family isn’t keeping the money, and was pushing for changes in how practices are handled.


          • Macallanlover

            Perhaps, but we are speaking broadly and that would be an exception to the rule. I don’t doubt the family wants more/better safety regulation for athletes going forward, who doesn’t? Civil liability cases are driven by the money but everyone hates to see pain, damage, or loss of anything from a limb to life. The question is where the line is drawn and where we just accept there will be accidents in sports (and life). Again, no one pushed him onto a football field, and no one underestimated the dangers, or guaranteed his safety.

            If the price is to disallow football collisions, I think it is too high. If the equipment manufacturer fraudulently misrepresented their product, or delivered it and it was defective, nail their asses. If a trained doctor, trainer, or coach, makes an error in judgement, we should strive for better training but accept this as one of life’s tragedies.


            • Again, it gets back to the NCAA invoking authority for itself. If the NCAA doesn’t want to have liability assessed for a failure to have standard protocols for head injuries, then it needs to make clear to all parties that it assumes no responsibility for the well being of student-athletes. In fact, it takes exactly the opposite point of view.

              You can’t have it both ways.


              • Macallanlover

                I don’t disagree with that, I feel they should be clear they will not, and should not, be considered responsible. Certainly, in my mind, any jury should realize they cannot control every decision made at the local level. But then my confidence in citizens serving on juries has been shattered long ago. But we agree, the NCAA should play the middle.


    • By the way, Mac, your underlying legal theory was raised and addressed by the judge:

      One of the NCAA’s main arguments was it has no legal duty to protect athletes. If sports organizations were liable, the NCAA said all athletic associations would be subject to litigation any time a participant is injured in any sport for failure to prevent the injury. But in a sign of evolving opinions about concussions, Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge David Boynton determined the NCAA has a “special relationship” since its mission statement is to protect college athletes. Since second-impact syndrome is not an obvious risk of football, a legal duty to warn exists and a jury could hear the arguments, Boynton said.

      If the NCAA wants to avoid liability, maybe it should think twice about how it holds itself out to student-athletes.


  4. Cousin Eddie

    “the NCAA is firmly committed to fostering greater understanding of student-athlete well-being.”

    When I first read that I replaced firmly with finally but thought no he didn’t say that so went back and read it again. Sad thing is I don’t feel either statement would be correct.