U.S. District Judge John Lee wrote in a 21-page opinion that
while the proposed agreement was a step in the right direction, the
$70 million devoted to fund concussion testing and diagnosis for
players might not cover potential costs, among other issues.
"Although these concerns may prove surmountable, the Court cannot
grant preliminary approval of the settlement as currently proposed,"
There was no immediate reply to a request for comment from the
National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which had
previously welcomed the agreement as a way to improve sports safety.
The lawsuit was first filed in 2011 on behalf of former Eastern
Illinois football player Adrian Arrington, who said he suffered
headaches and seizures as a result of five documented concussions.
The proposed settlement covers other cases.
The deal also addressed some guidelines, such as barring a student
with a concussion from returning to play or practice on the same day
and requiring a doctor's clearance.
It would have also set aside $5 million for concussion research,
although research done by member schools can be credited toward that
The opinion highlighted that not all plaintiffs in the case were
happy with the settlement, with some taking issue over the provision
barring players from bringing bodily injury claims as a class.
The proposed NCAA settlement came a few weeks after a federal
judge's preliminary approval of an open-ended settlement between the
National Football League and thousands of former players in June.
[to top of second column]
The NFL settlement money was intended to resolve all the personal
injury claims for the plaintiffs' out of pocket damages.
The danger of concussions and other head injuries has received
increased attention in college and professional sports in recent
years, with much of the focus on football.
More than 450,000 NCAA student athletes compete in 23 sports. The
NCAA makes revenue of about $740 million each year, court documents
(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Clarence
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.