Academic journal article Journal of Law and Health

The Bell Has Rung: Answering the Door for Student-Athlete Concussion Issues in the National Collegiate Athletic Association

Academic journal article Journal of Law and Health

The Bell Has Rung: Answering the Door for Student-Athlete Concussion Issues in the National Collegiate Athletic Association

Article excerpt

I.    INTRODUCTION                                                    59 II.   BACKGROUND: A HISTORY OF CONCUSSIONS, THE NCAA, AND       LAWSUITS ARISING THEREFROM                                      61       A. What is a Concussion?                                        61       B. How Bad Can the Effects of Concussions Be?                   62          1. The Effects of Concussions are More Than Short Term       62          2. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Has Burst onto the             Scene                                                     63          3. Second Impact Syndrome: Why its Prevention Should             be the First Priority                                     64       C. The NCAA and the Evolution of its Concussion Management          Plan                                                         64          1. The NCAA and its History of Concussions                   64          2. The NCAA's Concussion Management System                   65          3. Inherent Flaws of the NCAA's Concussion Management             System                                                    68          4. The NCAA's Current Infractions Program                    69       D. Lawsuits against the NCAA in regards to Concussion          Management                                                   70          1. In re National Collegiate Athletic Association             Student-Athlete Concussion Injury Litigation              70          2. Sheely v. NCAA                                            72          3. Brandon et al. v. NCAA & Mason v. NCAA                    73          4. The "Bellwether" Cases                                    74 III.  HOW THE NCAA IS FAILING ITS STUDENT-ATHLETES AND PROPOSED       SOLUTIONS THAT WILL PROTECT STUDENT ATHLETES IN THE FUTURE      75       A. The NCAA's Failure to Enforce its Concussion Management          Plan                                                         75       B. Why Previous Lawsuits Will Not Reach the Preferred Outcome   77       C. A Judicial Challenge that Will Force the NCAA to Change      77       D. Compel Submission of Concussion Management Plans for          All Member Institutions                                      80       E. Creation of the Concussion Safety Oversight Committee        81          1. Structure of the Concussion Safety Oversight Committee    81          2. The Concussion Safety Oversight Council under the Higher             Education Act                                             85          3. The Concussion Safety Oversight Council Implemented by             State Legislatures                                        87 IV.   CONCLUSION                                                      88 

I. INTRODUCTION

Recall your childhood. Remember when you would play on the playground and your parents would sit on the bench a couple feet away to make sure you didn't hurt yourself? Remember having the peace of mind that your parents would always be there to protect you? And if something did happen to you, your parents could always make the situation better? You would always hear someone shouting, "not too fast" or "get down from there," and if you scraped your knee, a bandage and some Neosporin were always waiting. You are graced with someone who always has your best interest in mind and will never let you end up in a situation where you would hurt yourself. That is what parents are for, right? Well, student-athletes have not received this care or guidance from its governing body that adopts such a parental role and prides itself on athlete safety--the National Collegiate Athletic Association ("NCAA"). Under the NCAA, student-athletes have been scraping their knees for decades. Except in this case, it is far worse than scraped knees; student-athletes are suffering from concussions and traumatic brain injuries ("TBIs") that can impact them for the rest of their lives.

Angel Mitchel is one of the many unfortunate examples. …

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