A former football player for U.C. Berkeley is now suing the school for multiple concussions he suffered while playing for the team.
Bernard Hicks, who played defensive back for the Calfiornia Golden Bears from 2004 to 2008, filed the lawsuit against Regents of the University of California on August 3, saying the school and the team's coaching staff did not do enough to prevent and manage head injuries he suffered while playing. His lawyer says the school did not inform players of the long-term effects of brain injuries. "The university is the players' caretaker," Hicks' attorney Matthew Whibley told The Daily Californian. "We think it would be fair for them to at least inform the players what they're getting themselves into."
Cal Athletics released a statement that did not directly address Hicks' lawsuit, but said "the medical care we provide our student-athletes meets or exceeds the standards in collegiate and national sports medicine."
Football has come under greater scrutiny in recent years after studies have shown long-term, chronic effects of head injuries sustained from the game. In April, a federal judge approved a $1 billion settlement in a class-action lawsuit against the NFL by former players. Hicks, who turns 29 in October, says he suffers from "permanent and debilitating" injuries such as depression, suicidal thoughts, dizziness, memory loss, and blurred and double vision. Had he known of the lasting effects of head injuries, Hicks contends, he would have played less or rested longer.
According to KPIX, Hicks played 32 games for the Golden Bears.