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Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Report: $100M study goes to Harvard

ESPN.com news services

Harvard University will oversee a $100 million research initiative to look into studying and treating injuries suffered by players.

The National Football League Players Association is negotiating a deal with the NFL to award the money to Harvard specialists, who will work with the NFLPA to study 1,000 retired players, according to a story in The Boston Globe. The study will look at a variety of injuries, from brain trauma to knee injuries to how painkillers affect players later in life.

CNN, which said it had seen the proposal, said the funding would be used to "diagnose, treat and prevent" injuries.

"No one has ever studied these players before," Dr. Lee Nadler, dean for clinical and translational research at Harvard Medical School and co-director of the proposed study, told CNN. "There have been postmortem studies looking at the brains of previous players but not the players today."

The project would be a 10-year collaboration, the Globe reported. It is being funded by money the union committed to as part of the 2011 collective bargaining agreement with the league.

The Globe reported that two dozen research centers applied for the study. The University of Michigan, Duke University Health System and Harvard were the finalists, the Globe reported. Harvard will use 10 schools and 16 academic medical centers as part of its study.