NCAA defends safety record as concussion lawsuit looms

CHICAGO — Rejecting claims made in a lawsuit concerning concussions, the NCAA said Saturday that it has taken steps to protect student-athletes from head injuries and that player safety is among the sports association's core principles.

Attorneys suing the NCAA over its handling of head injuries asked a federal judge on Friday to let them expand the lawsuit to include thousands nationwide.

The motion seeking class-action status was filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago, where the original suit was filed in 2011 on behalf of former Eastern Illinois football player Adrian Arrington and several other former athletes.

"Student-athlete safety is one of the NCAA's foundational principles," spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said. "The NCAA has been at the forefront of safety issues throughout its existence."

She said the association has addressed the issue of head injuries through a combination of playing rules, equipment requirements and medical practices. The NCAA does not believe the legal action is appropriate, Osburn said.

FSU junior, Tampa native headed to worlds: Florida State junior Dentarius Locke, a former state champion at Chamberlain High, qualified for next month's IAAF World Championships with his performance Friday in Monaco.

Just weeks after finishing second in the 100 meters at the NCAA championships, Locke finished in 9.96 seconds to finish second behind fellow American Justin Gatlin at the Diamond League Herculis meet.

"It was amazing," Locke, 23, told FSU's website, seminoles.com, after his personal best race. "I was so nervous because of the guys I was running against. This is so crazy! I was running with my hero (Gatlin). To run with him is a blessing. This raises my confidence, but I still have a lot to prove, and I still have that chip on my shoulder."

Locke, who won state titles and broke records at both 100 and 200 meters as a senior at Chamberlain, was named to the U.S. team for worlds, which are Aug. 10-18 in Moscow.

Obituary: Former Tennessee women's basketball star Mary Ostrowski died Friday at 51, according to her sister, Beth Hundman. Ms. Ostrowski was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer, in 2007, and she died from complications from the illness, Hundman said.

NCAA defends safety record as concussion lawsuit looms 07/20/13 [Last modified: Saturday, July 20, 2013 10:37pm]

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