Since the mid-1990s, hundreds of civil actions have been launched each year by injured student-athletes against schools, administrators, and athletics officials, with the majority alleging a negligent failure to take reasonable care to preserve the athlete's health and well-being. Many of these cases are settled out of court, but some trials result in jury awards against schools.
In addition to filing lawsuits, many athletes seek to influence school policy by engaging in protest activities on campus and outside games to draw attention to the need for change. Some students have taken their complaints all the way to the Supreme Court without success; others have succeeded in having rules changed in their favor.
The most famous lawsuit involving college sports injuries is probably Brady v. Maryland, which was filed in 1970 after Boston College football player Edward "Eddie" George Brady was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The case was brought by the family of Lou Gehrig, who had died two years earlier from the same disease. The Brades argued that learning how to deal with MS should be part of what is taught in college football programs because MS is a serious illness that needs to be prevented through vaccination. The court ruled 6-3 that the NCAA could prohibit its members from profiting from advertising related to the sport due to government regulation being a factor in preventing price fixing. The decision was based on federal law that prohibits antitrust violations by athletic conferences because they are not profitable alone.
OAKLAND, Calif. — According to Hagens Berman attorneys, college players have filed an antitrust class-action complaint against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), claiming it of illegally restricting them from collecting compensation for the use of their name, image, and likeness. The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Wednesday.
The plaintiffs include current and former basketball players who attended schools including Baylor, North Carolina, Ohio State, and Utah. They claim that by prohibiting certain states from licensing the use of their names, images, and likenesses, the NCAA is violating the Antitrust Act of 1890, which prohibits agreements that restrict competition within the market for athletic scholarships.
The plaintiffs seek certification of a class action, with each player appointed as a plaintiff representative for all other players in the class.
“For decades, college athletes have been denied any real opportunity to be compensated for the use of their names, images, and likenesses,” said Steve Berman, co-founder of Hagens Berman. "It's time for that to change. By preventing certain states from authorizing these types of contracts, the NCAA is running afoul of federal law. We're confident that when presented with this evidence, the court will agree and allow students to receive fair compensation for their own work and ideas."
Several lawsuits have been filed as a result of persons getting hit by golf balls. Not all lawsuits are in favor of the individual who was hurt. When a golfer stands up to the tee box to launch a shot, he or she does not usually plan to endanger the life of another person. However, other people may be injured by errant shots that go far beyond the putting surface.
In 2001, the U.S. Supreme Court decided two cases involving golfers who were struck by golf balls during a game. In both cases, the plaintiffs claimed that the manufacturers of these balls had strict liability because they knew or should have known that their products would be used in an unreasonably dangerous way. The court ruled that the only way for someone to hold a manufacturer liable for injuries caused by a golf ball is if the person can prove that the ball was defective when it left the factory.
Defectiveness can be shown in two ways: through evidence that the ball was altered after it left the manufacturer's control, or through evidence that the ball did not conform to ordinary consumer expectations. Altering the ball after it leaves the manufacturer's control can happen if it is scuffed or shaved down for more distance. Consumer expectation can be shown by evidence such as expert testimony about how commonly these types of injuries occur.
In conclusion, golf ball manufacturers are not legally responsible for accidents caused by their products unless they are shown to be defective.
Collegiate basketball games result in 9.9 injuries per 1,000 exposures, whereas practices result in 4.3 injuries per 1,000 exposures. Approximately 60% of NCAA basketball injuries are to the lower body. Ankle sprains and internal knee difficulties were the most prevalent, keeping players off the field for ten days or more. The hand/wrist was next, with college athletes at risk of injury from handling balls during practice and play.
The majority of injuries occur during game play (76%), with the remaining 24% occurring during practice. Injuries occur about two out of every three games played (66%), with the remainder divided evenly between those that occur during practice. The average time lost due to injury is 7.6 days.
Injury rates are higher for men than women's basketball. This may be due to the fact that men's basketball players experience more contact plays, which are associated with an increased risk of injury.
College basketball players suffer from a number of injuries each year. The most common injuries include ankle sprains and internal knee problems. Risks to the hand/wrist may also exist for college basketball players. They can be exposed to injury by handling balls during practice and play.
A examination of 252 nationally-reported criminal incidents involving sports in one year discovered that around 14% (49) of the athletes implicated were professional football players. This compares to around 7% (25) of professional baseball players and approximately 6% (21) of professional basketball and hockey players. In addition, there were three criminal incidents involving students who were participating in high school sports events where the student was arrested for alleged involvement in the incident.
The majority of athletes reported in criminal incidents were male college students who were participating in non-professional athletics. Around 80% (198) of all athletes reported in criminal incidents were men. Of these, 55 (28%) were under 18 years old and 143 (72%) were over 18. There were also two female college students reported in criminal incidents who were participating in athletic events while pregnant; they were given suspended sentences by their courts.
The remaining 20% (50) of athletes reported in criminal incidents were women. Of these, 26 (52%) were under 18 and 24 (48%) were over 18. There were also four male high school students reported in criminal incidents who were participating in sports events where the student was arrested for alleged involvement in the incident.
It is difficult to make direct comparisons with previous studies as they have examined different types of crime or used different definitions for what constitutes a criminal incident.