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Solomon, former UMaine hockey player, joins class-action suit against NCAA

Former University of Maine men’s hockey player Kyle Solomon became the first hockey player to join a class-action lawsuit claiming the NCAA didn’t do enough to prevent concussions, according to the Portland Press Herald.

The lawsuit contains three other former student-athletes who, like Solomon, suffered career-ending concussions, according to the Press Herald: former Eastern Illinois University football player Adrian Arrington; former University of Central Arkansas football player Derek Owens and former Ouachita Baptist University women’s soccer player Angela Palacios.

Solomon, 25, played hockey for the Black Bears from 2008 to 2010. The Southampton, N.Y. native detailed his concussion history to The Maine Campus in February 2012. Solomon said that while he sustained a number of concussions in game, it was a hit in practice that ended his career.

“It didn’t knock me unconscious but it gave me a concussion,” Solomon said of the hit in 2012. “It’s a really bad news hit. When that happens, you know something’s wrong. Nobody should get a concussion that easy.”

Solomon wasn’t available for comment, but according to the Press Herald, the lawsuit details Solomon’s issues while at UMaine.

“Neither the coaching or [sic] training staff ever addressed or discussed concussions or concussion symptoms with him,” the complaint reads. “He also did not receive any information from or on behalf of the NCAA on how to recognize or report head injuries.”

It wasn’t until Solomon saw world-renowned concussion specialist Dr. Robert Cantu, who helped make the decision that Solomon should retire from hockey.

“[Cantu] basically said another concussion could kill me,” Solomon said in 2012.

In the complaint, it reads that Solomon was cleared to play two weeks after that collision in practice, “despite the fact that Solomon felt something was wrong with him. He felt like a different person. He noticed a change in his personality, felt depressed, and was disconnected with reality.”

The lawsuit is seeking compensatory damages, “the amount of which is to be determined at trial,” according to the complaint.