The first clip on Adrian Arrington’s highlight real shows him and another player hitting a Purdue receiver so hard, that the player’s helmet flies off. It’s one of hundreds of big hits he either gave or received during his years as a defensive back at Eastern Illinois University.
Having suffered numerous concussions while playing in the NCAA– Arrington says his personal and professional life is all but ruined. The former NCAA football player said “it was hard to finish college…. The blackouts, the things I couldn’t remember.”
In addition to serious memory loss and debilitating headaches, he says he can’t be trusted to drive, or be alone with his two young daughters because of regular seizures. The medical bills are piling up and in terms of work– he can’t hold on to a job.
“It really hurts not to be able to provide for my family,” he said.
Arrington, who lives in Bloomington Illinois, is working with Chicago attorney Joe Siprut on a class-action lawsuit against the NCAA.
Siprut said “What we want and would allow us to declare victory is to get the NCAA to change the game”
Sirput, who is also representing two other football players and a soccer player in the lawsuit, says the NCAA didn’t require colleges to have concussion policies in place until 2010, even though they knew as early as 2003 that multiple concussions could lead to serious long-term health problems. He says the NCAA needs to establish more specific guidelines to deal with head injuries.
The plaintiffs also want the NCAA to establish a fund to pay for medical care for those who have sustained head injuries
“For things to be the way they are, the NCAA needs to something to help the kids that do get hurt in this way,” Sirput said.