The NCAA is considering settling a lawsuit with former Eastern Illinois wide receiver Adrian Arrington, multiple media outlets reported Monday.
Arrington sued the NCAA two years ago for damages because of multiple concussions he had while playing at Eastern Illinois. Since his playing career ended, Arrington has reportedly had seizures.
“While the NCAA continues to believe these allegations are inappropriately made against the NCAA, we are willing to consider reasonable settlement options that address student-athlete health and safety concerns, which has always been our priority,” NCAA spokesman Stacey Osburn said in a statement.
USA Today reported that a U.S. District Court judge granted a stay in the case last Thursday pending mediation, but there is no timetable for when settlement talks will take place. No dollar amount for damages was stated in the suit.
Arrington and his attorney, Joe Siprut, filed class certification documents in July, which would open the lawsuit to possibly thousands more plaintiffs.
“A lot of people don’t get the suit,” Siprut recently told CBSSports.com. “(They say), ‘Don’t you know that you can get concussions when you play football?’ Not only do we know it, that’s the point of the whole suit. The question is, do you have procedures in place that are proactive or reactive and they don’t. They don’t really have anything in place.”
Siprut claims the NCAA is responsible for the safety of players. The class-action filing includes a 213-page dissertation from concussion expert Dr. Robert Cantu.
He also claims that he found a series of e-mails from the NCAA that showed it had a negligent attitude toward concussions. The NCAA hired its first chief medical officer, Brain Hainline, in January.
Hainline recently told CBSSports.com that the diagnosis for concussions is relatively “primitive.”
Arrington, 27, is on welfare because he is unable to work due to the seizures.
“Yes, you may get a concussion, but sometimes you don’t remember getting that concussion,” Arrington told CBSSports.com. “When you get to that school you’ve got to play like that coach wants you to play or you’re going to get sent home. As student-athlete that doesn’t count for much. I have to do what I have to do is provide for my family in the future.
“I don’t want to work for McDonald’s.”