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High schools may benefit from concussion settlement

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ST. AMANT - After nearly a year of talks, the NCAA has agreed to settle a head injury lawsuit worth millions of dollars.

The NCAA plans to create a $70 million fund to test current and former athletes for brain injuries. The organization will also implement a single return-to-play policy for all schools to follow.

St. Amant High School football coaches feel high school level athletes will benefit from the resulting research.

"I think that only benefits us, because they're going to have the data that we're going to need to change practices, change management and also implement better preventative aspects at the high school level," said St. Amant trainer Scott Arceneaux.

The settlement covers both men and women in multiple sports including football, hockey, soccer, basketball, wrestling, field hockey and lacrosse. However, the former athletes who filed the class-action lawsuit won't see any money unless they sue individually.

The NCAA will also mandate baseline neurological tests for athletes to determine the severity of concussions. That's something that St. Amant High has already done.

"We've always been proactive about educating players, parents and coaches," said Arceneaux. "But then from a prevention standpoint, now we're doing the insight helmets that's giving us some real data about what we're doing at practice."

A U.S. District judge still needs to sign off on the settlement after hearing from athletes nationwide. That process could take months.


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