Josh Kendall

October 24, 2013

Kendall's Morning Meeting: Harder and harder to ignore game's toll on brains and bodies

A lawyer who is helping to sue the NCAA because of football's toll on his client's body is a big football fan, and it's a familiar tug-of-war for a lot of us.

Josh Kendall

News and views about Gamecocks football

    John Nichols is a South Carolina football fan.

    He was at the Gamecocks’ loss to Tennessee last week. He will be at their game at Missouri this week. After that game, Nichols will return to Bluestein, Nichols, Thompson & Delgado, and get back to work, among other things, helping to represent former South Carolina defensive lineman Stanley Doughty.

    Doughty, as you can read here if you haven’t already, is suing the NCAA in what could become a game-changing lawsuit against college sports' governing body. Doughty’s suit, which technically is a class action suit and likely will be joined by many more, alleges the NCAA hid the full risks of football from him and other college football players and didn’t do enough to protect them from those risks.

    The evidence of football’s too-often devastating effect on the human body is clear, Nichols says, and there’s plenty of that evidence referenced in the lawsuit. So, where does that leave a football fan who soon will argue that the game is so brutal that the NCAA owes his client and/or clients lots of medical monitoring and/or money to deal with its aftershocks?

    “It draws conflict,” Nichols said.

    For that matter, where does it leave a football reporter who makes a living watching the game’s toll while learning more and more about its potentially devastating effects down the road?

    With the same conflict.

    “I do enjoy football,” Nichols said. “I do like football, but… my sort of perception of football has been changing the last few years. I know it’s a huge industry college or professional, but I can imagine that maybe there will be one day be a world without football, (where people say) we are creating too many brain-injured players.”

    I can imagine it, too.

    Around the SEC:

    Alabama is the most recent school trying to fight fleeing fans. Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban went so far as to tell fans if they aren’t going to stay the entire game to give their tickets to someone who will.

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