Another day, another huge settlement paid out by the NCAA in a lawsuit. This time, the settlement goes to the Derek Sheely Foundation after two local lawyers brought a case against the Association and Frostburg State on the behalf of Derek Sheely, who suffered a fatal brain injury in 2011.
The lawyers, Ken McClain of Humphrey Farrington & McClain PC and Paul Anderson of The Klamann Law Firm PC in Kansas City, claimed that proper concussion protocols were not followed, making Sheely’s death five years ago a preventable one. On Monday, it was reported that the NCAA had reached a settlement with Sheely’s parents for the sum of $1.2 million.
“This is a landmark settlement not just because it is the first brain-injury case that the NCAA has agreed to pay a significant amount of money to resolve, but also because the stakeholders of football are now on notice that they have an obligation to protect the health and safety of the athletes, and if they fail to do so, there will be vast repercussions,” McClain said in a release. “While we were eager to try this case to a jury, we were able to craft a settlement that will have a much greater impact than a verdict could have achieved in this case.”
In addition to the settlement, Frostburg State agreed to retire Sheely’s jersey and display it on campus. They also agreed to sponsor a symposium in partnership with the NCAA to inform coaches on the dangers of concussions.
Frostburg State also must hold a fundraiser no later than Aug. 1, 2017 to raise money for The Derek Sheely Foundation and to provide enough funding to enable the Derek Thompson Sheely Leadership Award to be a full-tuition scholarship for a minimum of 10 years and potentially longer.
This just goes to show that concussions are a very serious thing and should be taken as such by all college football programs.