MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Despite having suffered post-career head issues himself, former University of Miami star and ex-NFL quarterback Bernie Kosar did not join nearly 4,500 former NFL players in a lawsuit accusing the league of hiding risks of concussions and repeated hits to the head.
The two sides reached a settlement worth $765 million on Thursday.
“Whether I got a dollar or a billion dollars, that wasn’t going to help how I was feeling,” said Kosar, who said he endured such things as equilibrium issues, sounds in his head and insomnia.
“I focused more on trying to figure out something … I feel like I got a second chance, a blessing from God … to have found a doctor, kind of a holistic way to treat some of the issues I had.”
In January, Kosar said treatments he got from a Florida doctor named Rick Sponaugle helped reduce the pain and other symptoms resulting from at least a dozen concussions during his playing career.
“I was more focused on trying to find something that made me feel better,” Kosar said Friday night. “I was able to kind of fix that stuff as opposed to, no disrespect to any attorneys … but to sit through depositions and kind of talk about that, wasn’t really going to help me feel better.”
Kosar, 49, was at Sun Life Stadium for the season opener between the University of Miami and Florida Atlantic University. He was among members of UM’s 1983 national championship team being honored at the game.
The 12-year NFL quarterback said he endured bleeding and contusions in his head for almost 25 years.
“The Junior Seau thing was an eye-opener to me … he was like a little brother to me … to find something that at least could help me,” said Kosar, who added he saw Seau five or six days before the former linebacker’s suicide.
Kosar cited former Florida Gator and 12-year NFL linebacker Wilbur Marshall and former offensive lineman Steve Everitt as peers dealing with serious post-career injuries.
“The acceleration of this stuff is starting to happen to these younger guys,” Kosar said. “It’s tough to see all lot of your friends going through stuff like that.”