WESTWOOD—Former UCLA defensive end Tom Sullivan filed a lawsuit against the NCAA and Pac-12 on Tuesday, October 4, seeking unspecified monetary damages, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. Sullivan filed the lawsuit with the U.S. District Court in Indiana, claiming he suffered over 20 untreated concussions while playing four seasons with the Bruins from 1979-1982.
The suit insisted that the former UCLA captain suffered several traumatic ailments, all caused by concussions that the NCAA and Pac-12 failed to properly address. Sullivan’s complaint read: “As a result of these injuries, Sullivan now suffers from memory loss, a decline in cognitive functioning, light sensitivity, anxiety, headaches and other debilitating issues.”
Concussions have become a controversial subject in football, and Sullivan’s lawsuit strives to name every UCLA football player from 1959-2011. While he doesn’t name UCLA in his grievance, he does claim that the players did not receive adequate medical treatment from the university. Sullivan insists that the NCAA did its best to hide the long term effects of concussions on players for their own self-benefit.
The NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy released a statement claiming the lawsuit to be “questionable,” and implied Sullivan was simply following the path of other recent football players who have sued over concussions. Both UCLA and the PAC-12 declined to comment on the matter.