NCAA settles CTE lawsuit in Texas
The NCAA settled a lawsuit with the family of a former University of Texas football player that accused the organization of being responsible for his brain injuries and death decades after his playing career. Greg Ploetz died in 2015 and Boston University researchers concluded he had extensive brain damage known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Debra Hardin-Ploetz sued for negligence and wrongful death, claiming that repetitive head trauma during Greg’s college career contributed to his health problems. The Longhorns defensive lineman played at the University of Texas from 1968 to 1971. The Longhorns won the national title in 1969 and Ploetz was the Southwest Conference defensive player of the year in 1971. He did not play professionally but graduated in 1972, earned a master’s degree and became a teacher.
Ploetz suffered from serious health problems for most of his life, including memory loss, difficulty communication and confusion. He stopped teaching in 2009. After Greg died, his brain was donated to Boston University’s brain injury research team, which concluded his brain showed severe levels of CTE. The NCAA previously agreed to give $70 million for a brain trauma trust fund to settle other lawsuits. The lawsuit was settled after three days of trial under confidential terms.