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NCAA Head-Injury Settlement Includes $70 Million Medical Fund

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The NCAA announced a preliminary settlement yesterday in a class-action lawsuit over how it deals with head injuries.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JOSEPH SIPRUT: Never before has there been a mandatory enforcement of return-to-play guidelines.

MONTAGNE: That's Joseph Siprut, the plaintiff's lead attorney speaking with the Associated Press.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

those return-to-play guidelines mean that a player with a concussion cannot go back on the field the same day. The NCAA will also give players baseline tests and set up a $70 million fund for medical monitoring.

SIPRUT: It changes college sports forever - nothing less, quite frankly.

WERTHEIMER: Critics of the settlement say it includes no payout for injured players.

MONTAGNE: Adrian Arrington is a lead plaintiff in the case. It's been four years since he played football at Eastern Illinois University. But he told the AP yesterday, he's still dealing with the effects of multiple seizures.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ADRIAN ARRINGTON: In 2014, I've had 15 seizures. And I also had to have surgery due to tearing my rotator cuff from having so intense seizures. And also I haven't been able to have a job.

WERTHEIMER: The settlement allows players to retain their right to sue and Arrington says he will pursue his own suit against the NCAA. The settlement is subject to approval by a federal judge, a process which could take months. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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