ST. GEORGE, Utah – The National Football League has agreed to give players $765 million to settle lawsuits based on the medical repercussions of concussions, and several retired pros in Utah may benefit.
Scott Brumfield is the head football coach at Dixie State University, and he suffered such injuries while playing as a tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals.
He said football is a rough game.
“I don't remember a practice where you didn't feel pain and sores and aches,” he said. “I was fortunate other than the spinal cord injury.”
While playing for the Bengals, Brumfield suffered what is called a spinal cord concussion, and he was temporarily paralyzed. He recovered and returned to play before he went on to coach at Dixie State University.
Brumfield said he made a good salary for a short time in the NFL, but he said he and other retired pros who may benefit from the settlement aren’t wealthy.
“I've known a lot of guys, a lot of personal friends, that have retired, and myself too, that suffer from, obviously the effects of football and head injuries and stuff like that,” he said. “I think the biggest thing is just taking a statement and putting the money into research and development that can help prevent it, and help the guys live healthy lives after they retire.”
Other former pros in Utah who may benefit include Jason Buck, who lives in Highland and is a former Washington Redskin and Scott Mitchell, who lives in Spanish Fork and is a former Miami Dolphin and Detroit Lion.
Brumfield is a tough guy, and he fought through non-Hodgkins lymphoma while in his first year as head coach at DSU. He said there are things the NFL can do to make the game safer.
“You're never going to prevent all injuries, but you can control injuries a little better,” he said.
Brumfield said the challenge of preventing injuries gets more daunting as the game evolves.
“It's a violent game, every year.... NFL players are getting bigger, faster, stronger,” he said. “Injuries are going to happen. Not only head injuries, but neck injuries, knee injuries.”