Former UCLA Football Player Settles With NCAA


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SANTA MONICA (CNS) - A former UCLA football player who sued for injuries he says he suffered while playing for the Bruins has settled the part of his case against the NCAA.

John Lopez played offensive tackle for the Bruins from 2013-16. On Wednesday, NCAA attorneys filed court papers with Santa Monica Superior Court Judge Mark H. Epstein stating that the plaintiff's claims against the organization have been resolved. No terms were divulged.

The judge had been scheduled to hear arguments Wednesday on the NCAA's motion to dismiss Lopez's claims against the organization. Lopez's suit, filed in May 2019, also named the UC Regents as a defendant.

In a sworn declaration, the 27-year-old Lopez says the pressure to play while injured was indoctrinated in UCLA players by the coaches and that he has not healed from his time playing football.

``Due to my mental and physical disabilities resulting from the injuries I suffered while playing football for UCLA, I have been unable to return to school to obtain my college degree and I have not been able to work even a part-time job since leaving school,'' Lopez says.

In their court papers, NCAA attorneys stated the organization did not owe a ``legally-cognizable duty''  to Lopez, had ``no direct oversight or control over student-athletes'' and that Lopez ``sustained head injuries while in college that were unrelated to his football participation.''

Two other ex-UCLA players, Poasi Moala and Zachary Bateman, filed similar suits. Moala played offensive tackle, tight end, fullback and guard for the Bruins from 2013-16 and reached a settlement of his suit on Friday. Bateman played offensive tackle for UCLA in 2015-17 and his suit is still awaiting trial.

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