Today, in Stacey Osburn has no comment.

Holy mother of crap, this ain’t good.

More than 200 concussion lawsuits are in the process of being filed against the NCAA, a plaintiff’s lawyer told Law360.

Several suits were filed in the Southern District of Indiana — which houses NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis — while more than 200 will eventually be filed, targeting schools up and down the NCAA’s membership, according to plaintiff attorney Jeff Raizner.

The suits will allege that the NCAA and its member schools were aware of the long-term damage concussive and sub-concussive hits native to the game of football would inflict upon players but did not warn players of such dangers.

More than 200.  There aren’t enough targeting penalties in the world to make up for that, I’m afraid.

(As a side thought, I wonder if Georgia will be a targeted school.)

53 Comments

Filed under See You In Court, The Body Is A Temple, The NCAA

53 responses to “Today, in Stacey Osburn has no comment.

  1. Michael L. Murphy

    They should be…

    ________________________________

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  2. I saw in budgeting a couple of years back that Georgia had put a couple of million off to the side that was titled concussion “something or another”… They expect to be sued and a couple of million likely isn’t going to cover it.

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  3. Blinding Whiff

    Everybody must sign a disclaimer when they step on campus. This should go for ACLs and everything else. Makes my head hurt to think about it.

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    • Russ

      Brain injury is nothing like ACLs. Sure, hobbling around on bad knees sucks, but not knowing who you are, your family, or why you have fits of rage and want to kill yourself is much worse.

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  4. Bill Glennon

    I hear one of the Plaintiffs is Justin Fields

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  5. MGW

    Get it? Targeted!?! Nice

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  6. JoshG

    Like sands through the hourglass, so pass the final days of college football.

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    • Bill Glennon

      Not just college football, but college athletics. CFB is the cash cow that funds the non-revenue sports. That’s why fundamentally changing college football through free agency or paying players, without thinking of the consequences, is so short-sighted. Tens of thousands of kids in non-revenue sports may not have a chance to get scholarships and go to college if the non-revenue sports are dropped because there is no money.

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      • DoubleDawg1318

        Paying players is not going to cost a non revenue athlete their scholly. You can cut bloated facility and staff budgets before eliminating other sports.

        Or you can go with the Olympic model and let players get paid for their likeness by outside companies without bothering the schools at all.

        If football disappears though, you are right that it will impact college athletics as a whole.

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    • DoubleDawg1318

      This plus playoff expansion is why I hope Kirby can deliver us a Natty or 2 within the next 3 years before football becomes unrecognizable. It makes 2017 sting even worse.

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  7. TimberRidgeDawg

    Get ready for soccer down the road… unless you like flag football.

    At some point the high schools and youth programs won’t be able afford the potential liability and there goes the whole system. They’re already limiting contact at practice and some school districts are dropping the sport in other parts of the country.

    The south will be the last go but the warning signs are there.

    Maybe they can change the rules to make it safer but that also may make a sport where violent physical contact is at the very heart of the game less watchable.

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    • atlasshrugged55

      The rate of concussion in soccer is roughly the same as football.

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      • TimberRidgeDawg

        Depends on your study. It’s equivalent or higher for girls but while the soccer, as played by adults, can be rough as hell, it’s not a sport where slamming into each other at full speed with weaponized head gear is fundamental to the game. Football by it’s nature is asking for lawsuits.

        Study quoted below shows:
        Men’s Spring Football at .54 per 1000 exposures
        Men’s football .40 per 1000
        Men’s soccer .28

        There are over 1M high school football players in the USA. Boy’s high soccer number is less than half that. By sheer numbers, football is going to account for more concussions because of the numbers playing it and it’s a rich target for lawsuits because of the revenue it generates.

        Hootman, J. M; Dick, R; Agel, J (2007). “Epidemiology of collegiate injuries for 15 sports: Summary and recommendations for injury prevention initiatives”. Journal of Athletic Training. 42 (2): 311–9. PMC 1941297. PMID 17710181.

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      • Union Jack

        But the development of the talent pool in soccer isn’t dependent on school systems and the US has been importing international soccer talent. The concussion issue has not been widely addressed internationally in soccer. Soccer relies on its own system to develop talent for the next level – the elite players don’t play high school soccer.

        Football is the only sport where the talent at the professional level is entirely dependent on schools. While it wouldn’t be beneficial for their sports, high school basketball, baseball, etc (boys only) could go away and colleges and the pros would still have a pretty decent system for talent development. Football doesn’t have that infrastructure in place at this point. It may never have it.

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        • TimberRidgeDawg

          To an extent it already has with baseball and basketball. The elite players play club/travel/AAU ball and that’s where the real evaluation occurs. You don’t learn much watching an high school baseball player throw or hit against another high school team other than he’s better than everybody else on the field. Basketball, for better or worse, has been overrun by AAU leagues. A lot of high school kids that aren’t good enough to make a varsity team play club leagues of some form.

          Football requires so much more infrastructure and cost that if you move it away from the schools and into pay to play club leagues then you are cutting off access to the game to players without financial means.

          Club Soccer in the US is the main platform to college scholarships and it can cost several thousand dollars a year that many can’t afford. Also large swathes of the country don’t even have club teams. It’s a sport for the upper middle class and the lack of access has limited development of the sport in the US.

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      • DoubleDawg1318

        Cheerleading also has lots of concussions. The issue isn’t really the concussions. It’s the sum of the sub-concussive hits that make the difference between football and other sports. In other sports the concussions are the iceberg, but in football concussions are just the tip of the iceberg.

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      • MagnusDawgus

        Youth participation in rugby in the UK is down over 1/3 in the past 10 years due to concussions. They are thinking of eliminating the “high tackle” as a result.

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        • DoubleDawg1318

          I was just going to say American football would be most likely to survive as a rugby-like sport, but if rugby is under the gun too I don’t know where football can go.

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      • Russ

        It’s not the concussions. It’s the regular, repeated knocking of heads that’s the main culprit.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Otto

      The NBA isn’t watchable……

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    • The Dawg abides

      I’ve told this story here in the past. My dad is 85 and played high school ball in the early fifties, and they had thin plastic helmets with crude webbing inside and no facemasks. He says of course faces would get roughed up from normal contact, but players instinctively kept their heads up and out of direct contact. No one lead with the helmet, and emphasis was on sound tackling to the ground instead of big hits. In other words, it was a lot less violent game with the emphasis on fundamental blocking and tackling. The addition of the facemask along with the evolution of the helmet slowly made it a weapon, one that has negative results for both the players delivering and receiving the blow.

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      • DoubleDawg1318

        I’ve long thought the solution for football might be to use less armor rather than eliminating kickoffs or hoping helmet technology makes rapid advances.

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  8. Mayor

    Are the plaintiffs going to sue the high schools too? How about the pee wee football organizations?

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    • Russ

      When the University of Texas AA just cleared $219M last year, I think they are a more likely target than Clear Lake Little League.

      The sport will fundamentally change. Whether or not it will still be popular for players and fans remains to be seen.

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      • TimberRidgeDawg

        But the Cobb County and Fulton County school districts would be targets. You kill the sport in the school district and Clear Lake Little League has no reason to exist.

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        • Union Jack

          The issue isn’t that someone will sue school districts. The issue is that insurance companies believe someone will sue the districts and they deny insurance coverage or make the premiums so high that the district can’t afford it. Cobb, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Fulton – think about what happens to high school football in the state if one or two drop football or has to institute a massive pay to play insurance fee? What happens to the talent pool for the next level?

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          • TimberRidgeDawg

            Yep… risk drives costs and from the looks of things its beginning to look very risky. First the NFL, now it’s driving down into the colleges, only a matter of time till it impacts a few public school districts and that will carry over to the rest.

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    • DoubleDawg1318

      It would not shock me if school districts get sued. Most of the power 5 and the NFL could survive a lawsuit. The community colleges, high schools, and little leagues won’t be able to afford the insurance even if they never get sued. That’s what is going to shrink the sport.

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      • TimberRidgeDawg

        I don’t think you’ll see non profit youth leagues get sued. They don’t have money so nothing to really gain. Players generally are covered by their own personal insurance for injury. I suppose if a league had to carry a liabilty policy that could get expensive but that cost would show up in the fees families pay to play.

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  9. Chopdawg

    Hard to believe an NCAA-level football player doesn’t know the game is dangerous before he ever gets to college.

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  10. “The suits will allege that the NCAA and its member schools were aware of the long-term damage concussive and sub-concussive hits native to the game of football would inflict upon players but did not warn players of such dangers.”

    Don’t some things go without saying. Does NASCAR warn its drivers that wrecks could be bad for their health? How about boxing, or other fighting sports? Do we really need to be warned that getting hit in the head repeatedly can have an effect on our long term health? Don’t we accept some level of risk when we decide to do some of the things we love to do? It would be different if the NCAA had stated there were no risks involved in playing football, but I don’t think they’ve said that.

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    • UGA'13

      This argument doesn’t seem entirely fair. The long term risks of sports-related concussions, such as CTE, are still being researched. The issues stemming from regular sub-concussive hits are only just beginning to be understood (within the past 10-20 years).

      Everyone knows that concussions are bad for your brain, just like everyone knows that high speed collisions can kill you. These risks are part of the equation when deciding whether or not to pursue sports. Sub-concussive hits weren’t on anyone’s radar until recently. This is more akin to NASCAR discovering over the past 15 years that repeatedly exposing your body to speeds over 150 MPH can lead to gradual spinal separation and eventual quadriplegia. Silly maybe, but analogous.

      The point is, the risk assessment has changed.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. NCDawg

    My brother read an article that there are only 2 insurance companies that will cover youth and high school football. This is definitely the beginning of the end. The lawyers will definitely ruin football. I feel for all the athletes that football has given an opportunity that they may not have otherwise had at not only a good income from football but an education and degree if NFL is not an option. Any sport has risks, some more than others. Football may survive if there are those willing to take the risks uninsured. We’ll see.
    The PBR (Pro Bullriders ) has survived and those guys are walking injuries each week. Maybe high schools, colleges and NFL can see how they do it and keep new riders and the sport alive and thriving.
    No easy answers here.

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  12. TNDAWG

    A jury will decide. Anyone have jury experience? Very unpredictable. Bet they’ll find for the plaintiffs and predictions above will come to pass. Players better start getting paid soon. Otherwise, no money will be left for them.

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    • mwo

      If players ever get paid (they should), if they sustain a concussion would that qualify for workers compensation? I’m not being a smart ass but as a state employee wouldn’t they be covered?

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  13. “targeting schools”

    I see what the author did there.

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  14. Uglydawg

    Would the Statute of Limitations apply in these cases? I got my bell rung a few times playing HS football about a hundred years back.
    I could use a few million bucks.
    This is going to be a watershed…
    We may owe McG an apology concerning that emergency fund.

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  15. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    (As a side thought, I wonder if Georgia will be a targeted school.)

    Well duh, we have that nice reserve fund after all. Attorneys want to have a decent case against a defendant, but they really want a decent case against a defendant with money. In a just world, we would set up a program to pay players for doctors and injury directly and save on the legal costs.

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  16. Uglydawg

    Dyland Dreyer’s post made me think of this situation. This is a great video, I realize many or even most of us have seen it, but even if it’s a little bit off subject right now, it is a touching tribute to some wonderful people…all involved. Just keep a tissue handy as you watch.

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  17. W Cobb Dawg

    I didn’t bother reading more than what Bluto posted, but it doesn’t say whether the families of deceased players, like Paul Oliver, would be plaintiffs. I’m sure we’ve got more than a few former players with CTE.

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  18. Go Dawgs!

    Bacarri Rambo getting knocked out against Auburn. Reggie Davis getting knocked out against Auburn. Tra Battle.

    I can think of a few of our guys who I’m worried about long term health-wise.

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  19. Insurance stuff aside, I think we’ve reached a point where football players are too big, too fast and too strong. We’ve reached the threshold where equipment and technique can’t keep up. Concussions have always been a thing but it’s not difficult to watch a few games and see way more players stumbling off the field in today’s game.

    Sure, modern equipment is better than that of even the 90s but modern football players are suffering more head injuries. It’s pretty scary.

    I see soccer mentioned- there are already talented, athletic kids taking up other sports before football. On the discussion of how a dead football would hurt other college sports- maybe there would be the unintended consequence of forcing talent into other sports and making them more popular. Maybe instead of one sport carrying many you would have many popular and successful sports. It would be a rough transition but most humans enjoy competition and will participate, spectate and spend money. I just don’t see sports dying. People are competitive.

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  20. Bigshot

    Ridiculous. If you know anything about the game you know there are inherent dangers involved. Throw them out.

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