Former California Golden Bear safety Bernard Hicks has filed a lawsuit against the University of California.
The lawsuit alleges that Hicks did not receive the proper treatment and prevention protocol that might have saved him from sustaining multiple concussions during his time at Cal.
According to Hicks’ attorney, Matthew Whibley, the university did not inform players of the long-term neurological diseases associated with concussions and subconcussive injuries to the head.
“The university is the players’ caretaker,” he said. “We think it would be fair for them to at least inform the players what they’re getting themselves into.”
Hicks claims that he has suffered as a result of such treatment, that he was brought back too early to play after sustaining said concussions, and they have led to his worsened condition post-college.
Since leaving the football team, Hicks has sustained “permanent and debilitating” neurological injuries that have caused depression, suicidal shots, dizziness, memory loss, and blurred and double vision, according to the lawsuit.
Cal Athletics did not comment on the case. They issued a general release.
Although Cal Athletics could not directly comment on Hicks’ case, it released a statement saying that it bases its care on the “best and most up-to-date clinical guidelines” and that “the medical care we provide our student-athletes meets or exceeds the standards in collegiate and national sports medicine.”
Defendants in the case include former Cal head coach Jeff Tedford, team physician Cindy Chang and head athletic trainer Ryan Cobb.
Hicks was a member of Cal football from 2004 to 2008 and was one of the team's stalwarts on defense during the most successful of the Tedford years. He started most of the 2006 and 2007 seasons as one of our team's starting safeties, logging 58 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 6 pass breakups in 2006 and 40 tackles and four pass breakups in 2007. He was limited to six games and 23 tackles in his senior campaign due to injuries, but he received the team's Ken Harvey Award for academic commitment and improvement.