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NCAA concussion defense: Sporting event organizers aren’t liable for obvious injury risks

As ex athletes seek medical help and lawyers jockey for position and money in the lawsuits, the NCAA’s defense is crystalizing. The legal argument emerging is this: The NCAA has no legal duty to protect college athletes.

The NCAA was one of several defendants named in a wrongful death suit brought by the family of Frostburg State football player Derek Sheely, who died in 2011 after suffering a brain injury during preseason practice. The lawsuit in Maryland state court claims Frostburg State coaches kept berating Sheely to continue practicing even though he was bleeding profusely from his forehead after multiple hits to the head over several days of practices.

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