Deceased Linebacker’s Estate Sues NCAA

The family of former Pittsburg State (KS) linebacker Zack Langston, who committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest at the age of 26, is suing the NCAA over its handling of concussions. The family alleges that Langston suffered more than 100 concussions while playing at Pittsburg State from 2007-2010, and was either not given the appropriate medical treatment or not treated at all by team doctors. The lawsuit claims that the NCAA has known for decades that severe hits to the head can lead to long-term brain injury, and recklessly ignored these facts by failing to put into place proper concussion-management protocols to protect student-athletes.

Langston’s brain was sent to Dr. Ann McKee at Boston University’s Center for Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, and was determined to show the same levels of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (C.T.E.) as the brain of former National Football League linebacker Junior Seau, who also shot himself in the chest in order to preserve his brain for research. The lawsuit is seeking compensatory and punitive damages “without limitation for past, present, and future medical expenses, other out of pocket expenses, lost time and interest, lost future earnings, and other damages.” According to the Associated Press, the NCAA is currently facing 43 class-action lawsuits relating to the organization’s handling of concussions at the Division 1 level alone.

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