Former USC football cornerback Brian Baucham is suing the college and ex-coach Lane Kiffin, alleging he was forced to play despite having had a concussion and being told by doctors that he was in no condition to play.
Baucham, 24, a high school standout in Torrance, suffered a concussion during a game in July 2012.
Two months later, during a game against California, he collapsed and was taken to a hospital where he was put on a ventilator, according to the suit. A CT scan revealed bleeding on the brain. Baucham has no memory of the second half of the game, according to his lawsuit.
"They played him in the third quarter. They played him in the fourth quarter," Bruce M. Brusavich, Baucham's attorney, said. "When he got to the sidelines, he just collapsed.
"He just never fully recovered."
Baucham, a fifth-year senior in 2012, didn't play for the Trojans again and will never be able to pursue a career in the NFL, he alleges.
The lawsuit also claims USC tried to revoke his scholarship after his injury, but Baucham and his family fought the school until he graduated.
Get Los Angeles's latest local news on crime, entertainment, weather, schools, COVID, cost of living and more. Here's your go-to source for today's LA news.
USC athletic director Pat Haden declined to comment about the case, but said in a statement: "I will say that I am confident that we provide excellent medical treatment to our student-athletes and that their health is our primary concern ahead of any athletic competition."
Kiffin declined to comment.
Kiffin was fired early on Sept. 29, 2013, hours after a 62-41 loss to Arizona State dropped the Trojans' record to 3-2. He is now Alabama's offensive coordinator.
Former USC tailback Stafon Johnson sued the school and a former assistant strength coach for negligence in 2011, 16 months after Johnson's throat was crushed in a weightlifting accident. The suit was settled in January 2012.
NBC4 Wire Services contributed to this report.