Football Player Files Case Against University

Category: Sports


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. sue / su / (v) – to file a legal case against someone or something

    The student sued his classmate for bullying.

  2. numbness / nʌm nɪs / (n) – the inability to feel anything because of cold temperature or an injury

    Numbness in your arms and legs could be a symptom of a severe illness.

  3. extremity / ɪkˈstrɛm ɪ ti / (n) – a hand or a foot

    My upper extremities go numb when I hold ice for a long time.

  4. aggressive / əˈgrɛs ɪv / (adj) – showing signs of forcefulness or being inclined to fight

    You should not display aggressive behavior during competitions.

  5. concussion / kənˈkʌʃ ən / (n) – an injury to the brain caused by hitting ones’ head

    A severe concussion can send you to the hospital immediately.


Read the text below.

An ex-football player of the University of Notre Dame / ˌnoʊ trə ˈdeɪm / in Indiana, USA is suing the school for allegedly hiding his medical results.

The college football player said that back in 2015, he experienced sudden numbness during practice. He was ordered to get an MRI scan to have his head checked. He claims that his coach and doctor said that it was safe for him to continue playing, but that he never got a copy of his medical test results.

The athlete continued to play for the football team until January 2016, when he suffered complete numbness in all his extremities. The player underwent a second MRI scan under a different doctor. Contrary to his first results, he was told that he had potentially developed permanent nerve damage in his neck.

In the lawsuit, the athlete claims that the advice given after his first MRI scan had been false and completely inaccurate. In his statement, he also detailed the symptoms of his condition, which include numbness for long periods, irritability and aggressive behavior, and difficulty focusing and sleeping. He said that the permanent damage would never have happened if he stopped playing football in 2015.

How coaches handle injuries and treat their players have been a frequent point of discussion in the US National Collegiate / kəˈli dʒɪt / Athletic Association, as the organization puts more emphasis on athletes’ welfare.

For injuries, however, it is still in the player’s hands whether to completely quit sports or to continue playing. Some college athletes who are taken out of their team due to multiple concussions simply transfer to another school to continue their career.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• In your opinion, to what extent should schools support their athletes (e.g. financial, medical support)? Explain.
• How can athletes who cannot play anymore due to medical conditions cope with their situation? Discuss.

Discussion B

• Would you risk your health to continue doing something you love? Why or why not?
• Give examples of people who take risks to pursue their dreams.