The NCAA faces a $50 million brain injury lawsuit alleging the organization failed in its duty to protect football players from brain injury and brain trauma. The lawsuit was filed by Julius Whittier, a former offensive lineman and tight end for the Texas Longhorns. Whittier was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease in August 2012.
Whittier played football in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) from 1969 to 1972. He alleges that he suffered “repeated traumatic head impacts” while playing for the University of Texas.
Among health problems linked to head injury are concussion, confusion, blurred vision, memory loss and nausea. Patients can develop signs of traumatic brain injury. Repeated trauma has been linked to latent brain injury, cognitive impairment, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and early onset Alzheimer’s disease.
The lawsuit, case number 1:14-cv-978, seeks class-action status for all former NCAA football players who played from 1960 to 2014, did not go on to play football in the NFL and have been diagnosed with brain injury or disease.
The NFL has been involved in its own litigation with players alleging they were put at risk of serious brain injury and not properly warned about the consequences of repeated head trauma. That lawsuit has been settled, but the proposed settlement will be reviewed in a fairness hearing before it can be approved.