Chicago Bears: Dave Duerson

Former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka offered his take Thursday on the $765 million settlement reached between the NFL and more than 4,500 former players.

“Concussions are part of the game,” Ditka said. “I know a lot of the old players need a lot of help, and it’s quite a settlement from what I understand. I think people have hid behind this too long. It’s time it’s out in the open. It’s out in the open now, so we’ll see what happens.”

The former players alleged that the NFL mistreated concussions by hiding the risks. With the lawsuit now settled, the allegations against the league won’t be made public in court.

According to the court document, following the order from Senior U.S. District Judge Anita Brody outlining the settlement, “the settlement does not represent, and cannot be considered an admission by the NFL of liability, or an admission that plaintiffs’ injuries were caused by football. Nor is it an acknowledgement by the plaintiffs of any deficiency in their case. Instead, it represents a decision by both sides to compromise their claims and defenses, and to devote their resources to benefit retired players and their families, rather than litigate these cases.”

Alicia Duerson, the ex-wife of former Bears safety Dave Duerson, who committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest in February 2011, told ESPN’s Kelly Naqi she still isn’t quite sure of the implications the settlement carries. Duerson’s family donated his brain to the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University, where experts found the former safety’s brain tissue revealed evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

“It’s so new,” Alicia Duerson said. “We haven’t had a chance to talk to the attorneys, so I don’t know what it means for me and my kids. I’ll need a couple of days to digest it.”

Fund to help kids with head injuries

April, 2, 2012
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MUNCIE, Ind. -- The family and friends of the late NFL star Dave Duerson have begun a program to help high school and middle school athletes in his hometown of Muncie who suffer head injuries.

The Dave Duerson Muncie Community Schools Athletic Safety Fund is designed to help them avoid chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a condition caused by repeated brain trauma. Duerson suffered from it before killing himself a year ago.

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Duerson's family sues NFL

February, 23, 2012
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CHICAGO -- The family of former Chicago Bears player Dave Duerson has filed a wrongful death suit against the NFL over his suicide.

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Duerson had brain damage

May, 2, 2011
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BOSTON -- The Boston University center that studies brain injuries to professional athletes says former NFL player Dave Duerson had brain damage when he committed suicide in February.

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NEW ORLEANS -- Rex Ryan didn't want to dignify the accusation with a reaction.

Three Notre Dame football players, including Dave Duerson, center, at Jackson Square on Saturday, Dec. 27, 1980, in New Orleans.The passionate New York Jets head coach couldn't help himself when asked about last month's allegation that his father, Buddy Ryan, called late Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson the N-word.

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Mike Singletary talks about his new role with the Vikings and the death of former Bears teammate Dave Duerson.

Rivera laments Duerson's death

February, 24, 2011
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INDIANAPOLIS -- New Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera reflected on the recent passing of former Chicago Bears teammate Dave Duerson while addressing the media Thursday at the NFL Combine.

The two men were teammates from 1984-89, and Rivera started at strong side linebacker during Duerson's final two years with the Bears -- 1988-89.

"That was a very sad situation," Rivera said at Lucas Oil Stadium. "It's the 25th anniversary [of the Bears Super Bowl XX victory], Richard Dent is getting into the Hall of Fame and this coming weekend we're going to celebrate the life of another one [of our teammates during Duerson's funeral]. It's a very sad situation. Sad for all of his former teammates, friends and family. It most certainly did hit home a little bit. He'll be greatly missed."

Duerson's death is a warning

February, 23, 2011
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Soon we may know whether Dave Duerson had CTE. His death and others remind us why the NFL's efforts to minimize the potential damage to players should be lauded, not derided.

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Report: Dave Duerson texted family

February, 20, 2011
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Former four-time Pro Bowl safety Dave Duerson, who committed suicide Thursday by shooting himself in the chest, sent text messages to family asking that his brain be examined for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a condition linked to more than a dozen deceased NFL players, The New York Times has reported.

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Report: Dave Duerson death a suicide

February, 19, 2011
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago Tribune is reporting former Bears safety Dave Duerson died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest, and the co-director of a medical school program tells The Associated Press his family has agreed to donate his brain for research.

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Dave Duerson, a starting safety on the 1985 Chicago Bears team that won the Super Bowl, was found dead in his Miami home, the team said on Friday. He was 50.

The cause of death was not released.

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