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NCAA Social Series

NCAA Social Series is a weekly show featuring expert insiders who provide an in-depth look at issues and current events impacting college sports.

Concussion-related policies and procedures for campus administrators

The purpose of this memo is to announce the final approval and effective date of the class settlement agreement for the medical monitoring portion of Arrington v. NCAA, which has implications for member institutions and their concussion-related policies and procedures. This content is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or a substitute for legal advice. We encourage you to review the content with applicable legal and other advisors and school staff who might assist you in appropriately evaluating this information as it applies to your individual institutional risk and practices.

Earlier this week, a memo was sent from the NCAA Office of Legal Affairs to the general counsel of each member institution or, at institutions where counsel has not been identified, the president/chancellor. That memo is available for review here. The purpose of that memo was to notify campus risk management staff of the established effective date of the settlement agreement for Arrington v. NCAA, and to urge timely institutional review of the terms of this settlement. 

Certifications must be submitted by May 18, 2020

The settlement agreement provides NCAA member institutions with an opportunity to benefit from a release from certain legal claims that might otherwise be brought by members of the settlement class. To benefit from the release, member institutions must certify in writing that they have put in place a concussion management plan that meets the requirements of Section IX.A. of the settlement agreement (described in the attached FAQ document). Certifications must be delivered to certain court-identified settlement representatives within six months of the settlement agreement effective date of November 18, 2019, which means schools will have to deliver their written certifications no later than May 18, 2020. Guidance on the certification process will be made available to the membership in early 2020.  

Go to FAQ document for details

As a companion to this memo, a Frequently Asked Questions document  has been provided to facilitate member institutions’ review of the settlement terms. Additional information and instructions will be provided by the NCAA national office in the coming months.

What should I do now?

In the meantime, institutions should begin a careful review of the settlement terms in conjunction with their general counsel and/or primary risk management staff. Additional questions may be submitted to the NCAA National Office via the Sport Science Institute at ssi@ncaa.org.

Arrington Class Settlement Information

The final approval and effective date of the Arrington class settlement agreement for the medical monitoring portion of Arrington v. NCAA was November 18, 2019. The agreement has implications for NCAA member schools and their concussion-related policies and procedures. Members should review this information with applicable legal and other advisors, and school staff who might assist in appropriately evaluating this information as it applies to individual institutional risk and practices.

Member schools and class members can find the following information on this page, in addition to the resources provided in the info boxes on the right side.

  • Medical monitoring certifications for member schools
  • Concussion reporting for member schools
  • Medical monitoring program details for student-athletes

Concussion reporting for member schools

The settlement terms require a process for NCAA member schools to report instances of diagnosed concussions and resolutions in student-athletes. In January 2020, all three NCAA divisions adopted rules requiring an active member school to collect and report on concussions diagnosed on or after May 18, 2020.

The initial concussion reporting cycle will begin on July 1, 2020. The online reporting portal will be available to the membership on July 1, 2020. Member schools can find more information about the reporting process here. Answers to anticipated questions about the concussion reporting process can be found in the FAQ here.

Note: Concussion reporting obligations are separate from and not related to the certification process, which closed on May 18, 2020.

What should member schools do now?

The NCAA national office will continue to provide information and address membership questions about the Arrington settlement activities in the coming months. In the meantime, if they have not already done so, member schools should carefully review applicable concussion reporting legislation and begin planning for the initial reporting period which will begin on July 1, 2020. Additional questions may be submitted to the NCAA National Office via the Sport Science Institute at ssi@ncaa.org.

This content is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or a substitute for legal advice.

Medical monitoring program for student-athletes

NCAA student-athletes who played an NCAA sport at a member school on or prior to July 15, 2016, and who did not opt out of participation may be entitled to free medical screening and may receive free medical testing, known as medical monitoring, up to two times over the next 50 years. Class members do not need to have been diagnosed with a concussion to be a member of the medical monitoring class.

Class members who would like to participate in the medical monitoring program can register and sign up for updates at www.collegeathleteconcussionsettlement.com.

Medical monitoring certifications

The settlement agreement provided NCAA member schools with an opportunity to benefit from a release from certain legal claims that might otherwise be brought by members of the settlement class. To have benefitted from the release, member schools must have certified in writing by May 18, 2020, that they have put in place a concussion management plan that meets the requirements of Section IX.A. of the settlement agreement.

Taking Action

In the Association’s continuing efforts to support college athletes, the NCAA Board of Governors voted unanimously to permit students participating in athletics the opportunity to benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness in a manner consistent with the collegiate model.

DIII Special Olympics profile: Cassandra Contigiani

When Cassandra Contigiani was a freshman in high school, she witnessed her first Special Olympics unified event at the New Hampshire high school girls soccer tournament.

Creating an Inclusive Culture

How can athletics diversify its job candidate pools and place more women and ethnic minorities in leadership positions? According to the schools and conferences now seeing success, it all starts with a culture check.

The college sports community strives to champion student-athletes, helping them finish college and pursue their career goals. But athletics has long acknowledged a disparity between department leaders and the diverse college athlete population they work to serve: Student-athletes who hope to pursue a career in college sports often don’t see people who look like them in leadership roles.

NCAA Division III 50 for 50th Special Olympics Challenge Results

Special Olympics celebrated its 50th anniversary in July 2018. In honor of this occasion, DIII SAAC challenged all Division III institutions to have at least 50 student-athletes participate in one or more Special Olympics events between August 2018 and April 2019. The results are in and Division III SAAC could not be prouder of its student-athletes, institutions and conferences.

As of April 30, 2019, 53 institutions reported completing the 50 for 50th Special Olympics Challenge. Those institutions are:

  • Allegheny College
  • Beck College
  • Bryn Athyn College
  • Carthage College
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Catholic University
  • Concordia University Chicago
  • Denison University
  • DeSales University (DeSales)
  • Eastern Nazarene College
  • Elizabethtown College
  • Emory University
  • Fairleigh Dickinson University, Florham
  • Geneva College
  • Goucher College
  • Gustavus Adolphus College
  • Hamline University
  • Haverford College
  • Hollins University
  • Illinois College
  • Juniata College
  • King's College (Pennsylvania)
  • Lake Forest College
  • Marietta College
  • Marymount University (Virginia)
  • Misericordia University
  • Mitchell College
  • Moravian College
  • Oberlin College
  • Ohio Wesleyan University
  • Olivet College
  • Penn State University Abington
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Shenandoah University
  • Smith College
  • Springfield College
  • St. John's University (Minnesota)
  • St. Norbert College
  • State University of New York at Oswego
  • Susquehanna University (Susquehanna)
  • Thomas College
  • University of Lynchburg
  • University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
  • University of the Ozarks (Arkansas)
  • University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
  • University of Wisconsin-Platteville
  • Vassar College
  • Waynesburg University
  • Wells College
  • Wesleyan University (Connecticut)
  • Westminster College (Pennsylvania)
  • Worcester State University

Each of these institutions will receive a token of appreciation from Division III SAAC. Additionally, DeSales, RPI and Susquehanna reported the highest percentage of participation by student-athletes and will face off during the May Spotlight Poll for the grand prize. Please visit the Division III Special Olympics website to vote for your favorite activity.

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