Former Gamecock Doughty suing NCAA

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH) - Former Gamecock defensive lineman Stanley Doughty is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit filed this week against the NCAA.

The 28-page lawsuit, filed Tuesday in the Columbia division of the United States District Court, claims the NCAA "breached its duty to protect NCAA football players."

Doughty, who played for South Carolina from 2003-2006, was injured twice during his collegiate career and experienced "repeated traumatic head impacts."

The lawsuit says the former defensive tackle injured himself in a 2004 practice after colliding with another player and experienced temporary paralysis and a "persistent tingling sensation" in his arms and neck. It also describes an injury suffered during a 2005 game against Tennessee in which Doughty collided with runningback Arian Foster, now a Houston Texan, leaving him momentarily unable to move, similar to the 2004 injury. Doughty was taken to the locker room, rested for five minutes and then returned to the field. The suit claims the team did not order an MRI.

Doughty skipped his senior season at USC to focus on an NFL career and was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Kansas City Chiefs in April 2007. According to the lawsuit, after Doughty underwent mandatory medical testing, the team's head athletic trainer removed Doughty from the practice field and informed him he was not medically cleared to play football.

The suit alleges the team's doctors told Doughty he could no longer safely play football and he was later released by the Chiefs, ending his pro football career.

Last May, Doughty, a Louisiana native, was featured in an article in The Atlantic magazine entitled "'I Trusted 'Em': When NCAA Schools Abandon Their Injured Athletes." It documents his brief NFL career and his hope that the University of South Carolina would help cover his medical expenses after his spinal condition was discovered by the Kansas City Chiefs' doctors.

The suit is seeking damages to compensate plaintiffs for "past, current, and future injuries sustained as a result of the NCAA's conduct."

The lawsuit was filed by John Nichols of Columbia law firm Bluestein, Nichols, Thompson and Delgado.