Former Stanford player Hayley Hodson has sued Stanford University and the NCAA after she medically retired from college volleyball. Hodson was the 2015 National Freshman of the Year, but had to retire after being diagnosed with Post-Concussion Syndrome.
Under the terms of medical retirement rules, she is eligible to continue receiving her scholarship until graduation at Stanford, but is not entitled to return to NCAA volleyball, even if she is healed.
Hodson said that she suffered at least two concussions in high school while training with the USA Volleyball National Team program, and another during her sophomore season at Stanford when she took a ball to the head during a drill in practice.
She says that when she returned to school in March of 2017, she met with neuropsychologists, psychiatrists, and neurologists, and that she was told that there was “no way” she should be on a court, and that she should medically retire.
Hodson described Stanford’s concussion protocol as “aggressive” in the post, and she says that she felt rushed back to the court before she was healthy.
Since retirement, Hodson applied to Stanford’s study abroad program at Oxford University in England, and spent a year studying there.
The complaint claims that the defendants (Stanford and the NCAA) “violated their professional duty of care by failing to provide PLAINTIFF with proper medical care. Defendants denied PLAINTIFF proper and adequate medical treatment and cleared PLAINTIFF to actively compete in a Volleyball program hosted by Defendants after she sustained serious injuries.”
The complaint then goes on to say that the school ignored signs of “brain injury” in Hodson and rushed her back to the court before she was medically prepared to do so. The suit then goes on to attack the core of Stanford and NCAA concussion protocols, and “misrepresented the level of training and education received by their coaches so as to instill a false sense of security in Plaintiff regarding the safety of the NCAA.”
The requested relief in the case comes with 10 points, including forcing the NCAA and Stanford to change its concussion protocol and further educate coaches, and requiring them to place a warning label on all volleyballs about the risks of concussion. The case also requests money for future medical monitoring costs, “compensatory damages for pain and suffering as well as economic damages for past and future losses,” punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees.