Ex-Football Player Sues IHSA

Nov 30, 2014

A former high school quarterback is suing the Illinois High School Association for allegedly not doing enough to protect football players.

Attorney Joseph Siprut filed the class-action lawsuit on behalf of Daniel Bukal in Cook County Circuit Cook Saturday, the day Illinois wraps up its state high school football championship games.

Siprut says it's among the first times such a lawsuit has targeted a governing body responsible for overseeing prep sports in a state. The lawsuit calls on the Bloomington-based IHSA to tighten its head-injury protocols. It doesn't seek damages.

Bukal suffered multiple concussions playing for Notre Dame College Prep in Niles from 1999 to 2003. It says he still suffers frequent migraines and has experienced memory loss.

In an e-mailed statement, IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman said he wanted to keep the spotlight Saturday on the last football playoff finals. He says IHSA will review the suit and comment more fully when appropriate.

But he did add concussion management is a top IHSA priority. And he says it'll "continue to be a leader" in reducing head-injury risks.