Concussion symposium explored and debated key issues regarding head injuries and brain trauma in sports
VILLANOVA, Pa. – Tackling the important subject of concussions in sports just weeks before the NFL Concussion Injury Litigation was schedule to go to trial in Philadelphia, the 2013 Jeffrey S. Moorad Sports Law Journal Symposium—Concussion Conundrum—explored, debated and informed on the key issues facing players, teams, leagues, doctors and lawyers regarding head injuries and brain trauma in sports.
Andrew Brandt, Director of the Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law and NFL Business Analyst, has covered the concussion issue for ESPN and moderated all panels.
- commentary from retired professional athletes—Keith Primeau, Jim Nelson, Taylor Twellman, and Brian Westbrook—about concussion awareness and prevention amongst players
- an examination of both sides of the NFL Concussion Injury Litigation—the concussion injury class action suit brought by former NFL players against the league
- an exploration of the science and concussion-related liability facing professional and amateur sports
- a look at the state of sports and concussions with media personalities.
“With Concussion Conundrum, we at the Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law look forward to presenting an illuminating event that discusses, analyzes, and reviews concussions in sports at all levels: high school, college, and professional,” said Mr. Brandt. “We hope that this symposium will be a landmark event in the study and discourse about concussions in sports.”
The Symposium took place on Friday, March 15, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., in the Arthur M. Goldberg Commons at Villanova University School of Law. This program was approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for 2 substantive CLE credits. The event is free for non-CLE attendees.
Panels and Speakers
Panel 1: Framing the Issue
Retired professional athletes discuss concussion awareness, prevention, and treatment from their playing days as well as views of the present awareness and atmosphere surrounding concussions in sports.
- Keith Primeau, former NHL Center (Philadelphia Flyers, Detroit Red Wings) and founder of stopconcussions.com
- Jim Nelson, former NFL linebacker (Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore Ravens)
- Taylor Twellman, former MLS player and current ESPN analyst and concussions commentator
- Brian Westbrook VSB ‘01, former NFL running back (Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers) and commentator for CBS Sports’ Fantasy Football Today
Panel 2: Building the Case -- A Legal and Medical Background of Concussions
Legal and medical experts explore the liability issues of amateur and professional sports and share their perspective on the diagnosis and treatment of concussions. Panel also features a Villanova Law Student who has written about and experienced the effects of concussions in her and her family’s life.
- Marc Edelman, Associate Professor of Law, Barry University
- Dr. Michael Marino, MD, Attending Physician at Drucker Brain Injury Center
- Cailyn Reilly ’13 VLS
Panel 3: Concussion Injury Litigation v. NFL: Looking at Both Sides
Practicing attorneys, including one representing the plaintiffs, engage in a balanced, in-depth discussion of the key arguments in NFL Concussion Injury Litigation—the class action suit brought by former NFL players against the league.
- Paul Anderson, founder of NFLConcussionLitigation.com
- J. Gordon Cooney, Jr. '84 VLS, Morgan Lewis, expert on the defense of class actions suits
- Sol Weiss '72 VLS, Anapol Schwartz, Co-lead Counsel in NFL Concussion Injury Litigation
Panel 4: What's Next?: Parents, Media, Administrators, and Scholars Look Ahead
ESPN personalities examine the state of the sport of football in light of concussions, whether parents should let their kids play, and where the NFL will be in 20 years.
- Roger Cossack, Legal Analyst, ESPN
- Ashley Fox, NFL Columnist, ESPN
- Peter Keating, Senior Writer, ESPN
- Taylor Twellman, ESPN Soccer Analyst
The Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law, created in February 2012 with a $5 million leadership gift from Jeffrey S. Moorad ’81, is one of only a handful of institutes in the U.S. dedicated to the study of sports law. The new Center will prepare students for careers in amateur and professional sports through rigorous academic study, innovative programs, internship opportunities, scholarship, and research. Located near Philadelphia, home to one of professional and amateur sports most dedicated fan bases and largest media markets, Villanova University School of Law is situated along the Northeast corridor in close proximity to several major sports markets including New York City, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.
The Moorad Center’s Board of Advisors, which provides advice and guidance to the Center’s leadership, includes notables from numerous facets of the sports industry, including Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, the National Football League, the National Hockey League, player representation agencies, and sports media. Advisory Board members serve as resources for student opportunities in the field and join Moorad Center Director Andrew Brandt for panels, discussions, and symposia.