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August 31, 2013

NFL players not all happy with settlement

(Continued)

NEW YORK —

The lawsuits accused the NFL of concealing the long-term dangers of concussions while glorifying spectacular hits on the field.

The settlement calls for payouts of up to $5 million for players suffering from Alzheimer’s disease; up to $4 million for those who died of brain injuries known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE; and up to $3 million for players suffering from dementia. The NFL will also pay for medical exams and devote $10 million toward medical research.

“Whether I got a dollar or a billion dollars, that wasn’t going to help how I was feeling,” said former NFL quarterback Bernie Kosar, who has dealt with a number of health issues now that his playing days are over and said the death of former San Diego star Junior Seau “was a real eye-opener for me.”

“Whether they get the money or not, I’m not sure that’s going to make them feel better,” Kosar said.

The payments will hardly be a burden to the 32 NFL teams. The league generates close to $10 billion a year in revenue, and that is certain to rise when new TV contracts are negotiated in the near future.

“I don’t care if we get any money,” said former linebacker Jay Brophy, who played for the Miami Hurricanes and later for the Miami Dolphins, and has been diagnosed with brain damage. “I’m not begging for anything. All I want is if there’s treatment out there, build us some centers, send us to places to help us out because we don’t have insurance. That’s all I care about. Too many guys I know are suffering and are going through things.”

Andrew Zimbalist, a sports economist at Smith College in Northampton, Mass., estimated the settlement will cost the NFL $45 million a year, or 0.4 percent of current revenue.

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