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    HomeWorldWidow of Former West Point Running Back Sues NCAA for Wrongful Death

    Widow of Former West Point Running Back Sues NCAA for Wrongful Death

    Widow of Former West Point Running Back Sues NCAA for Wrongful Death

    The widow of former West Point football player Gene Merlino — who died after suffering at least 14 concussions during his time on the field — is suing the NCAA on the eve of the second anniversary of the gridder's July 2021 death.

    The suit by Kelly Merlino in Manhattan Supreme Court alleges that the college sports group suppressed knowledge about the dangers of brain injury in football, leading to her husband's death at the age of 55.

    “The direct consequence of the NCAA's misconduct was that Gene Merlino developed brain disease that manifest in a wide variety of symptoms, including self-medication, alcoholism, and an early death,” the suit reads.

    The suit says Merlino's symptoms included “brain damage, confusion, depression, and the self-medication that eventually killed him.”

    The footballer's cause of death is unclear. An online obituary said that he died suddenly two years ago, on July 9, 2021.

    Merlino, who played for West Point from 1984 to 1986, was discharged from the Army because of the brain injuries he suffered as a player.

    “I had 14 concussions that are confirmed,” Merlino told the Daily News in 2015. “I kept playing and I didn't let myself heal.”

    During Merlino's time as an Army football player, the NCAA did not have a concussion protocol, the suit alleges — despite decades of medical evidence that repeated head injuries caused long-term…

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