(CN) - The NCAA has agreed to a $75 million settlement with college athletes who claimed the body put their health at risk by leaving concussion policies up to their individual schools.
The proposed settlement, which comes after more than a year of negotiations, is to be presented to U.S. District Judge John Lee in Chicago this afternoon.
Under terms of the agreement, the NCAA will establish a new protocol to handle concussed athletes and to monitor the health of those who might have suffered concussions while playing a wide variety of college sports.
If Judge Lee accepts the plan, the NCAA will fund a $70 million program to test current and former athletes for brain injuries.
Among the new guidelines that all NCAA schools will have to follow is a common return-to-play policy. Under that policy, players will not be allowed to return to action the same day they receive a concussion.
In addition, everyone on the sidelines, including players, coaches and trainers, will be subject to mandatory concussion education, and doctors trained in concussion diagnosis will have to be present for all games played.
The proposed settlement also requires the NCAA to contribute $5 million toward concussion-related research.
The settlement covers men and woman who participate in football, soccer, basketball, ice hockey, wrestling, field hockey and lacrosse.
Significantly, it does not set aside a lump sum to pay damages to athletes who have already suffered debilitating head injuries. As a result, the deal preserves the right of individual athletes to sue for damages on their own behalf.