Mizzou Tigers

Former University of Missouri football players latest to sue NCAA

Tony Van Zant and Sharron Washington suing over head injuries suffered years ago

ST. LOUIS - Two former Missouri football players are suing the NCAA in federal court over head injuries they suffered decades ago, joining a cascade of recent lawsuits against college sports' governing body related to traumatic brain injuries.

Tony Van Zant and Sharron Washington filed the suit Tuesday. Both played for Missouri from 1987 to 1991. Van Zant is now running backs coach at Division II Lincoln University in Jefferson City.

Both say they suffer headaches, depression and other ailments. The lawsuit seeks medical monitoring and testing for former college players with similar head injuries and didn't advance to the NFL.

ABC 17 News read through the lawsuit and found some inaccurate information. According to the lawsuit, Van Zant suffered traumatic head injuries during games against Kansas State and Illinois in the 1987-88 season. But the Tigers didn't play Illinois in 1987 or 1988.

It also says Sharron Washington experienced a hard hit to the head during a game against Baylor in 1990 that caused him to bite part of his tongue. But the Tigers didn't play Baylor in 1990. They played Baylor in 1991.

ABC 17 News reached out to both lawyers on the case. The lawyer in St. Louis was out of the office Thursday.

But the other lawyer in Lexington responded to ABC 17 News via email and said they "will make the appropriate amendments to the case."

Similar lawsuits have been filed in recent months in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota and Tennessee by ex-players from schools such as Georgia Tech, North Carolina State, Oregon and Vanderbilt.

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