Former College Football Player Suing University Over Brain Injuries In Landmark Court Case

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Nice Move

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In a move that you knew was coming after all the publicity being received by concussions in sports, most notably the Chris Borland retirement, a former college player is suing his alma mater over brain injuries he incurred during his time playing on his collegiate football team.

From CBS San Francisco:

In his lawsuit against the University of California, Bernard Hicks said he suffered “permanent and debilitating” neurological injuries due to multiple concussions he sustained during games and practices. According to the Daily Californian, Hicks said he now suffers from depression, suicidal thoughts, dizziness, memory loss, and blurred and double vision.

The lawsuit names the UC Regents as defendants, along with former coach Jeff Tedford, team physician Cindy Chang and head athletic trainer Ryan Cobb.

The lawsuit also claims that the school did not properly educate players on the dangers football injuries can have on players’ futures.

If the court decides in favor of Hicks, a precedent could be set that puts a huge burden on universities. They essentially would need all of their players to sign liability waivers declaring their informed consent in order to wear the uniform. It’s going to turn the College Football Playoff into the Blazin’ Wing Challenge (though, to be fair, the head trauma parallels are definitely there).

I’m kind of torn on this one. On the one hand, I do believe that an 18-to-22-year-old college kid who is following his dreams of playing in the NFL probably assumes getting injured is just a stop on the journey. A roadblock. An inevitability. He won’t question the effect it has on his future because, if all goes to plan, it’s going to be happening a lot more in his future, and he thinks he should just get used to it.

Alternatively, common sense exists. Check out this video of one of Bernard Hicks’ hits.

If Hicks didn’t know that doing this was bad for his brain/neck/head/spinal cord/life, then I don’t think concussions are his biggest brain problem. Look at the video comments – Audioslave6556 even called this 7 years ago!

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That wasn’t the only hot take in the comments section, either.

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When it comes down to it, college players know they’re putting themselves at risk for the sake of their potential future careers, and I think that’s more of an institutional problem than a problem caused by one single institution.

[via CBS San Francisco]

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