Three ex-football players sue NCAA over concussion-related symptoms

Chris Walker
Chris Walker, who played football at Tennessee, is one of three former players suing the NCAA.
(Butch Dill / Associated Press)

One week after the NFL and several of its retired players reached a $765-million settlement in a concussion lawsuit, three former college football players are suing the NCAA, saying it failed to educate them about the risks of concussions and did not do enough to prevent, diagnose and treat brain injuries.

Chris Walker and Ben Martin, who played for Tennessee from 2007 to 2011, and Dan Ahern, who played for North Carolina State from 1972 to 1976, filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court in Chattanooga, Tenn., on Wednesday.

The suit was filed by attorney Michael Hausfeld, who is also the lead attorney in the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit that is seeking damages from the NCAA for using athletes’ images in video games and other properties to make billions of dollars.

“The NCAA has not taken the necessary steps to protect these former players even though the medical tools to assist them have been available for some time,” Hausfeld said. “It is not too late now for the NCAA to offer important education and needed medical testing to these former players.”


The complaint alleges the NCAA failed to meet its obligation to former players and because of its neglect the players are “suffering the dramatic consequences.”

Walker and Martin were defensive ends for the Volunteers. Walker played 50 games during his career. Martin played 45 game. Ahern was an offensive lineman. None played in the NFL.

In the complaint, Walker and Martin claim to have had repetitive head trauma in scrimmages, practices  and games during their careers, and that they now suffer from severe headaches.

Ahern says in the lawsuit that he was flown from Pennsylvania to Raleigh, N.C., for hospitalization after suffering a concussion in a game against Penn State during his senior year. He also claims to have an inability to concentrate, poor memory, a ringing in his ears and sleeping problems.



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