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The San Antonio Express News article by Mike Finger June 2, 2018 Pictures to Mike's article were added by Billy Dale . Greg was my teammate and Julius was my roommate.
This combination of photos provided by Boston University shows sections from a normal brain, top, and from the brain of former University of Texas football player Greg Ploetz, bottom, in stage IV of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. According to a report released on Tuesday, July 25, 2017 by the Journal of the American Medical Association, research on 202 former football players found evidence of a brain disease linked to repeated head blows in nearly all of them, from athletes in the National Football League, college and even high school. (Dr. Ann McKee/BU via AP) less
Mildred Whittier still has not made it to the inside of a courtroom. It has been four years since she filed a lawsuit against the NCAA on behalf of her trailblazing brother, who battles dementia almost five decades after he became the first black football letterman in Texas Longhorns history.
Still, she waits.
Zack Langston’s family is waiting, too. In 2014, the former Pittsburg State linebacker committed suicide at 26, leaving behind instructions to have his brain studied for evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. Now, his case against the NCAA has been folded into a class-action lawsuit potentially involving thousands of former players.
For all of those families, a resolution could be years away.
But a week from Monday, Debra Hardin-Ploetz will not have to wait anymore. On June 11, she is scheduled to appear in a Dallas courtroom, where her attorneys will argue that the NCAA is legally responsible for her husband’s death.
It will be the first time a CTE case ever has gone to trial in this country. And for the NCAA, it will mark the beginning of what could be a momentous stretch of legal tumult that could leave a lasting effect on the governing body whose original stated mission is “to keep college athletes safe.”
Later this year, the NCAA will have to defend its limits on compensation for student-athletes in a trial set for a California courtroom. That case, legal experts say, has the potential to upend the entire concept of amateurism in college sports.
But in many ways, the CTE trial in Dallas could wind up being just as significant. That case revolves around Greg Ploetz, who played football at UT in 1968, 1969 and 1971, and died in 2015.
According a clinical report cited in his wife’s lawsuit, Ploetz suffered a myriad of serious health problems throughout his life, and “became apathetic, disinhibited, exhibited compulsive behaviors, and his personal hygiene began to decline. He experienced paranoia and confusion, was psychiatrically hospitalized, and was in and out of respite homes due to aggressive behaviors.”
Neurologists at Boston University, who studied Ploetz’s brain after his death, concluded he suffered from stage IV CTE, the most severe version of the disease. Those same researchers recently published a study stating CTE was found in 99 percent of brains obtained from NFL players, 91 percent of college football players and 21 percent of high school football players.
With that link in mind, the most important question to be settled in the Ploetz trial is this:
To what extent should the NCAA be held responsible for protecting athletes?
When the jury provides its answer, the effect could be huge. In an interview with The Brookings Institution, Donna Lopiano, the former UT women’s athletic director and former CEO of the Women’s Sports Foundation, estimated that the NCAA could face “at least a billion dollars in concussion liability.”
To win her case, Hardin-Ploetz — who is represented by Houston attorney Eugene Egdorf — will need to prove the NCAA was negligent.
Michael McCann, a legal analyst for Sports Illustrated, broke down the keys to proving that argument like this:
“Hardin-Ploetz insists that, 1. the NCAA openly acknowledged a legal duty to minimize the risk of injury to Ploetz while he played college football; 2. Ploetz relied on the NCAA to satisfy this duty; and 3. the NCAA failed to meet the duty.”
The NCAA, of course, is likely to argue that college football players assume the risk of injury by voluntarily playing a physical sport, and that the governing body had no duty to protect players as extensively as the Ploetz lawsuit suggests.
But Egdorf will have plenty of evidence to suggest otherwise. According to Sports Illustrated, Hardin-Ploetz’s lawsuit cites a 1933 NCAA medical handbook recommending that concussed players be held out for 48 hours, which could suggest that the NCAA should have required safety measures even during Ploetz’s career.
The plaintiff also could bring up NCAA president Mark Emmert’s 2014 testimony before the U.S. Senate, when he said, “I will unequivocally state we have a clear moral obligation to make sure we do everything we can to protect and support student-athletes.”
Hundreds of families, from the Whittiers to the Langstons to all of those filling the class-action suits still pending, believe the NCAA did not meet that obligation. Many of them have been waiting a long time to make that argument.
In just a few days, they finally will get to hear someone make it for them.
Sent from my iPad
Chicago Tribune November 2017
Four years ago, researchers from Evanston's NorthShore University HealthSystem and other scientific organizations announced that they had used brain scans to detect the hallmark of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, in ex-football players while they were still alive - a technique that promised to spur more accurate diagnoses, and possibly new treatments.
The scans indicated the presence of tau, a protein that builds up over damaged neurological cells, in the brains of former NFL players. But the scientists cautioned that the results needed to be confirmed, since CTE can be definitely diagnosed only by examining brain tissue after a person's death.
Dr. Julian Bailes, a NorthShore neurosurgeon, said Wednesday that confirmation has arrived.
In a paper published last week in the journal Neurosurgery, Bailes and other researchers reported that one of the former players who had undergone a scan had his brain examined after he died - and sure enough, the tissue revealed that he had been suffering from CTE.
The condition is associated with repetitive head trauma and results in
More research is needed to corroborate the result, but if it holds up, Bailes said it could be a pivotal step in finding a way to help people with the condition.
"If there's ever a treatment developed, you can test the response to it," he said. "If you can trust the scans, you can tell a football player he shouldn't keep playing, or tell someone in the military he can't get in the way of explosions."
Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com
INFORMATIONAL ONLY- The comments below are not endorsements by tlsn
NOTICE OF AMENDED TIMELINE IN THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT OF CLASS ACTION AND FAIRNESS HEARING FOR MEDICAL MONITORING AND RELEASE OF CLAIMS MAY 23RD 2017
On May 23, 2017, the Court issued a Scheduling Order which amended the timeline in the class action lawsuit called In re National Collegiate Athletic Association Student-Athlete Concussion Injury Litigation, Case No. 1:13-cv-09116 (N.D. Ill.). It is pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
This Scheduling Order can be viewed at the Settlement Website, www.collegeathleteconcussionsettlement.com and extends the deadline to request exclusion from or object to the Settlement to August 4, 2017, and rescheduled the Fairness Hearing for September 22, 2017, at 10 a.m. at the Everett M. Dirksen United States Courthouse for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 219 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois.
If you have any questions,
In re: NCAA Student-Athlete Concussion Injury Litigation, c/o Gilardi & Co. LLC, PO Box 43414, Providence, RI 02940-3414
Saw this last week about a young lady with a remarkable recovery. This is the same group that Bob Lilly and others have treated with.
From Bill Atessis
There is a less expensive procedure called celltex that is administered in this country. I cannot substantiate the results of the treatment, but I know some very important people are using this procedure. Their site is http://celltexbank.com/, and the site has a testimonial component you can visit. Other sites to visit include
Dear Horns, (From Bill Atessis)
I am in the beginning phase of investigating a treatment by Celltex Therapeutics for one of my closest friends. This company has treated several prominent NFL players for Dementia and Alzheimer's. I have spoken with several former Dallas Cowboys who have been treated and all are pleased with the results.
That said- please know that I am still in the due diligence phase of research and my comments are informational only and should not be construed as an endorsement of Celltex .
Jackie Sherrill (former A&M Coach back in the 80's) has been working with Celltex Therapeutics and NFL players to get this treatment covered by the lawsuit funds. I'm not exactly sure of the pricing but the NFL players I talked to say it is around $15 - $20 thousand. I will try and meet with Jackie to get more information and a better idea of costs.
This treatment is not covered by insurance nor is it FDA approved. The stem cell extraction is done in Houston however the injection is done at their clinic in Cancun Mexico.
If you have any questions that you would like me to ask as I pursue my due diligence, please forward to me thru BillyDale1@gmail.com.
I hope all is going well with you and family. I am really encouraged about our new coach, and I believe we are going to see UT back in the top tier of college football where we should be.
From Deb Ploetz
Greg Ploetz and many more of our teammates have paid the ultimate price from football related concussions. The organization below is seeking funding to continue research on how to lessen the impact of this contact injury on players who have CTE.
Article Written by Terry Frei for the Denver Post about CTE and Greg Ploetz death
Many..... still are shaken by the September 2013 death of , the charismatic Wishbone wizard and the father of former Rockies pitcher Huston Street. Street died of a heart attack. Also, James Saxton, the Texas running back who finished third in the 1961 Heisman Trophy voting (behind Syracuse’s Ernie Davis and Ohio State’s Bob Ferguson), passed away at age 74 last week after a long battle with dementia. At least one other prominent player in the Texas program from 1969-72 also is fighting dementia.
In communicating with Dale during this process, and telling him how much I respected how the LSG has responded to help Ploetz and other former Longhorns and their families, I mentioned that my father was the head coach at Oregon during that period, and I’ve been reminded again and again over the years about how the bonds between teammates — and between coaches and players — last. The latest was when three of my siblings and I were present as our father posthumously was honored at the Oregon spring game on May 3, tying it the military appreciation theme of the afternoon because he had been a decorated P-38 fighter pilot during World War II … and never allowed that to be included in his coaching biography. (He was an Army Air Forces contemporary of Ploetz’s father, Frederick Ploetz, the P-40 fighter pilot, also in the Pacific Theater.)
I feel comfortable with sharing what Dale wrote me about the teammates’ bonds issue:
“Bonding only occurs when the respect of a teammate is earned. We all respect each other. We struggled through the mental anguish of trying to be a starter for the Longhorns. We shared victories, losses, work-outs, fellowship, sorrow, pain, and joy together and now that most of us are entering the 4th quarter of our lives, we huddle again as a team to help each other. The teammate bond is not broken and the respect for each other remains years after our glory days at UT have ended.”