Goodell, NFLPA's Smith to testify

Updated: October 17, 2009, 11:07 AM ET
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith both will testify at a congressional hearing on head injuries among NFL players.

House Judiciary Committee chairman John Conyers, Jr., D-Mich., said Friday that the committee will hold its hearing Oct. 28. Conyers announced the committee's intention to hold the hearings on legal issues relating to football head injuries Oct. 2.

"The committee expects to hear from medical experts, former players, and others about the prevalence of these injuries and the conditions which may have contributed to their lasting effects at the professional and amateur levels," Conyers said in a statement.

The hearings will look at the lasting impact of head injuries, how to limit them and how to compensate players and their families.

The decision to hold the hearings follows a preliminary study done for the NFL that suggested retired pro football players may have a higher rate than normal of having Alzheimer's disease or other memory problems. The study, which has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal, was done at the University of Michigan.

The results show the topic is worth further study, but they do not prove a link between playing American football and later mental troubles, lead author David Weir said.

"We testified before the committee two years ago on retired player benefits and look forward to further discussing these important matters and reviewing the work we have done to reduce and properly manage concussions and assist our retired players," NLF spokesman Greg Aiello said in a statement.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press