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Football player Marcus Clayton sues Syracuse, NCAA over concussion dangers

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Clayton says SU could have and should have done more to protect players

Central Michigan v Syracuse Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Do colleges do enough to protect football players from concussions?

It was a big question for Syracuse Orange football last season when Eric Dungey seemingly suffered multiple ones throughout the season, edging close to the school’s supposed “three strike” rule that would make him ineligible.

Then we found out this three strikes rule was actually made up, perhaps to be wielded only when coaches wanted to remove a player from their roster. Sorry, A.J. Long

So, again, I ask. Do college do enough to protect football players from concussions?

It’s a relevant question all the time but especially right now as a former Orange football player is now suing SU and the NCAA for failing to protect him properly from concussion dangers.

[Marcus] Clayton is seeking damages from Syracuse University, the AAC and the NCAA for "damages for contractual breaches," as well as interest and legal costs. It defined those damages as past, current and future medical expenses, lost time, lost earnings and "other damages."

Clayton played in 34 games between 2003 to 2005 for the Orange, starting as a wide receiver and eventually shifting to cornerback.

According to the lawsuit, players were taught to inflict head injuries on themselves and others as the proper way to play and that SU ignored concussion symptoms in the name of profit. It says that Syracuse didn’t have proper concussion protocol until 2010.

Syracuse University Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Kevin Quinn released a statement:

"We consider the health and welfare of our students, including our student-athletes, extremely important. With this in mind, Syracuse University and Syracuse Athletics will continue to provide comprehensive care to our students. Given that this matter involves pending litigation, we are not able to comment on the specifics of the lawsuit at this time."

We’ll have to see how things play out, most likely through a settlement, but we’re left with a question that could influence the future of lawsuits on this issue. Did Clayton know the full dangers of playing football and therefore deserves no recourse, or does Syracuse have a responsibility to take care of the health of athletes who sacrifice themselves for it’s teams, especially those who generate millions of dollars they will never see?