Former UGA player joins ‘wave of concussion litigation’

Ron Hermann (84) talks to teammates on the sideline during a Georgia game in 1980s.

ATHENS — We found Ron Hermann. He lives in Sacramento, Calif., and works as a program coordinator for a faith-based television station.

Who is Ron Hermann, you ask? Well, he played football for Georgia as a walk-on defensive end in the mid-1980s. But that’s not really what he’s known for at the moment.

Ron Hermann, who played for Georgia as a walk-on defensive end from 1984-86, is suing the NCAA and the SEC over the medical problems he is encountering due to multiple concussions suffered in college. SPECIAL

Hermann is listed as a plaintiff in one of six lawsuits against the NCAA filed this week by several former college players across the country. And more suits are expected to be on the way soon.

In an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday, Hermann said he suffers from severe memory loss. He said he has been undergoing medical treatment and getting tests from neurologists and his family doctor to try to determine if the symptoms that he suffers are the result of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (or CTE).

However, Hermann did not want to talk about the specifics of his case due to the pending litigation.

“This thing has taken on a life of its own,” he said before going off the record. “I’m a very private person. … I’ve had reporters calling me all week and I’m like, ‘this is not what I was signed up for.’”

Hermann would say only that his cognitive skills have been deteriorating rapidly over the last several years and blames it on 18 years of playing football, and those three years in Athens in particular.

In the suit itself, Hermann claims that he suffered “numerous concussions” while practicing and playing special teams for Georgia in from 1984-86 and has suffered memory loss as a result. The suit specifically references a hit Hermann took on a kickoff in which he “saw stars.”

Georgia is not named specifically in the suit. It targets the NCAA and the Southeastern Conference.

“I love UGA,” Hermann said. “This isn’t about them.”

According to a report by Jon Solomon of CBSSports.com, the six lawsuits filed this week represent just the first in “a wave of concussion litigation” that is about to hit college sports. That number could rise to “40 t0 50” class-action lawsuits filed on behalf of tens of thousands of football players, Chicago attorney Jay Edelson told the website.

“The goal of the suits is to get people who are injured financial compensation — something that hasn’t happened as of yet,” said Edelson, who is leading effort to sue the NCAA.

Over the past couple of years, lawyers have been soliciting former college football players to join class-action suits against the NCAA, conferences and individual schools. Georgia is not specifically named in Hermann’s lawsuit.

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