Another big legal battle for the NCAA

  • Football is in trouble. The NFL has quite the cash cow, but if this suit goes against the NCAA, it will be very difficult to continue to have football as a school sport at any level.

    Simply put, if this decision goes against the NCAA (trial starts in two weeks), the effect could be huge. Most school district budgets are already stretched. Districts can’t afford to pay huge settlements and insurers won’t want that type of liability without increasing premiums (probably a football specific policy aside from the regular sports policy).

    And that doesn’t account for the media attention and reaction this will likely generate.

    Football is in crisis. All of the conference re-alignment based on football money may start falling apart if that money dries up, or has to be directed towards treatment and recovery for former players.

  • @no one on here just a rant

    Why the lawsuits? How f’n stupid do you have to be to not realize that repeatedly getting your head jarred is bad for your brain? Will boxers be next? Seems like a conscious decision to put your body out there to receive adulation, but when it’s used up you are surprised? Silly and hardly the ncaas fault. What if the injuries happened back in hs or ms? Can it be proven?

    How about soccer? More concussions occur in soccer than any other sport. Kids are flocking to it these days. What kind of society allows their kids to play such a dangerous game?

    The pussification of the American male continues.

  • @justanotherfan

    Thanks so much for posting the link above.

    I had grown despondent thinking I would not live long enough to celebrate the end of football as an amateur sport exploiting young men starting around 4th grade through college.

    I am a member of the “two football concussion” club.

    Playing football was fun as hell.

    But playing football was the stupidest thing I ever did.

    And I have done my share of stupid things.

    I am so glad its gotten into the courts.

    I hope some truth about whether or not it is wreaking havoc on young men’s brains is discovered and I trust most any 12 Americans that do no have incomes dependent on the perpetuation of football in our schools to make a fair finding in the midst of both sides hiring the most expensive expert witnesses money can buy to try to make their cases.

  • @dylans 100% agree, I love how people say the risk of playing in the nfl isn’t worth it. Give me one of those big contracts, I’ll play no question.

  • @dylans

    The issue is that the NFL and the football establishment continue to insist that it is not dangerous, similar to the way the tobacco industry denied the dangers of cigarettes for years and years and years. Had the NFL and other football organizations come out and stated the risks, I think your point would be correct because the danger would have been well established and known.

    I can remember when people would laugh about guys “getting their bell rung.” That was less than 20 years ago. Now we know better, yet the NFL still won’t say that outright. The NCAA won’t say that. As long as the powers that be continue to deny the danger, there will continue to be lawsuits, and the plaintiffs will continue to be successful in those lawsuits.

  • @justanotherfan

    Spot on. I was getting ready to write a post with the tobacco analogy when I saw your post. Once the real long term effects of tobacco were made public, the liability went up exponentially. In the early 70s you could get a pack of cigarettes for 30 cents and a carton (10 pack) of cigarettes for about $2 and now a pack, not a carton in Kansas goes for about $7 and $14 in New York mostly because of the liability and cost to the government to deal with the consequences.

    Now that the long term effects of football are being exposed the liability will go through the roof and most programs will end up shutting down. Frankly, I don’t see football as we know it to be around in 10-20 years.

  • Banned

    I just don’t see football going anywhere. If you consider all the money the game of football makes and produces? You’re pushing a trillion dollars a year if not more. Now keep in mind I’m not just talking about what he NFL makes. I’m talking about the whole goose clear down to the employees that work at, and build the stadiums. That cash cow isn’t going to go away.

    Now we could see some more rule changes. Yet my bet is on the engineers and scientists. I have no doubt that in the coming years there will be advancements in the equipment and even the fields they play on. In fact I’d bet money on it.

  • Youth football doesn’t make much money. Parents spend lots of money on it, but it doesn’t generate any money.

    Same with high school. It doesn’t make much real money.

    Only college and pro make money. And if the player pipeline dries up…

  • DoubleDD said:

    I just don’t see football going anywhere. If you consider all the money the game of football makes and produces? You’re pushing a trillion dollars a year if not more.

    You certainly don’d mean a trillion, right? The budget for the entire country is just above 4 trillion and there is no way football is one fourth the national budget; perhaps 1 billion? Even then, the medical liability would easily exceed that by at least one order of magnitude.

  • The NFL had around 14 billion in total revenue in 2017.

  • People love the hits just like the Romans love the gladiators, football will never die off. I’m not saying it’s right but it’s true.

  • @kjayhawks

    At one time, Boxing and horse racing were the most popular sports in this country (about 100 years ago). Basketball was popular in gym classes (kind of like kickball is). Baseball was riddled with scandal. Football barely had a foothold in American consciousness.

    Now horse racing is barely surviving outside specific pockets in the country. Boxing is popular for maybe one or two major fights a year.

    Sports don’t necessarily die, but they can re-order.

    I could see a scenario where football continues to be popular only in the South, while other sports become more popular in other places in the country. The head injury issues have caused lots of parents to pull their kids from youth football. Those kids are growing up playing other sports. Soccer is booming in the suburbs. Lacrosse is popular in the northeast. Baseball is making a comeback in urban areas.

    Lots of former players are now saying that because of health concerns, they aren’t going to let their sons play football. That’s a huge blow to the game.

    Chipping away at the player pool because of controversy, health concerns and overall interest dropping won’t “kill” football. But it’s status as the most popular sport in the country is not guaranteed in perpetuity.

    A smaller player pool means less excitement and interest because you will miss out on elite talents.

    Terrell Owens was a very good basketball player. So was Randy Moss. In a different environment, maybe those guys play a different sport. Chad (Ochocinco) Johnson was a pretty solid soccer player growing up until he pursued football full time.

    Tony Gonzalez was a college basketball player. So was Antonio Gates. That’s two of the best tight ends of the last 20 years or so.

    John Elway got drafted by the Yankees. Russell Wilson was drafted by the Rangers. That’s a couple of Super Bowl winning QBs.

    Brett Favre says he hopes his kids pick a different sport. Other former players are outright saying they won’t allow their kids to play.

    Participation has dropped 30% in the last 8 years at the youth level, from over 3 million kids to about 2.25 million playing. Even a little more erosion (let’s say down from 2.25 million to 1.8 million) is probably enough to tilt the scales in another 10 or 15 years.

    This article says that participation at the high school level was down more than 10% in Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois. 41 total states saw a decline in football participation. Overall, football participation has fallen about 5% at the high school level from 2008 to last fall.

    Think of it this way. The kids that were playing youth football at its peak in 2009 as 8 and 9 year olds were high school seniors last fall. Those kids grew up playing football, and yet participation declined by 5% among that group compared to 2009. The drop of 30% from 2008 to last fall at the youth level means that in 9 years (when those kids are seniors), if the natural decline holds consistent, instead of there being over 1 million kids playing high school football in 2028, there will be something like 750,000. That means that school that usually has 100 kids out for football now will have about 75 in 10 years. That’s still a good size. But the school that only gets 45 kids out now will only be getting 30-35 out in 10 years. The school that only gets 25-30 kids out now probably won’t have enough to have a program in 10 years.

    And this doesn’t consider that many of these kids are growing up playing sports other than football. If you’re a good basketball or baseball or lacrosse or soccer player, you aren’t picking up football when you get to high school. A lot of your friends aren’t playing football, so it’s less likely that you are picking it up.

    More and more of these kids are growing up not going to games on Fridays (because older brothers and cousins aren’t playing for the local high school) or watching every Sunday (because their parents are cutting the cord or because they have a soccer tournament, for example). Football isn’t automatically part of life. And that is ultimately why it will start to fade.

  • @justanotherfan said: “I could see a scenario where football continues to be popular only in the South, while other sports become more popular in other places in the country. The head injury issues have caused lots of parents to pull their kids from youth football.”

    In the South we can’t really notice head injuries much.

  • I wouldn’t care if football went away. I’ve basically stopped watching the NFL except for the Super Bowl, although I still get into the college game. I do get disgusted with the dirty play particularly the leading with the helmet thing.

  • @justanotherfan I grew up playing more soccer than football, but I can’t stand to watch soccer. I’m not sure exactly what the numbers mean for viewership. I do see how that could ultimately affect the quality of players available though.

  • @mayjay Aren’t there high concentrations of black folks in the south? Sure sounds racist. Not funny.

    Oh, right, there are poor white people in the South, and rednecks. That’s what you are referring to. Never mind. Now it’s funny.

    **Regardless, it is funny. Just felt like editorializing a bit.

  • @HighEliteMajor Let’s see, what is the script? “I apologize if anyone was offended by my totally innocent non-offensive comment.”

    Actually, my comment is semi-serious, mostly about the education leaders whose disgraceful schools here leave so many kids and communities underserved at best, but it also stems from observing the SC legislature. I figure no two public groups could be so utterly corrupt and inept, so maybe they are just collectively brain-damaged.

  • Here, in s. central ks, fb is still big! We’ve had a couple of girls w/concussions from soccer. They wear those headbands, also wear them during basketball.