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Frostburg State University Press Information Regarding Derek Sheely Lawsuit Settlement
07/27/2016

On Wednesday, July 27, 2016, the Maryland Board of Public Works approved the payment of $50,000 as part of the settlement of a lawsuit related to the August 2011 death of Derek Sheely, a Frostburg State University football player. The suit, filed in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, named several parties as defendants, including three former FSU employees.

The payment authorized by the Board of Public Works will be made by FSU to the Derek Sheely Foundation and is part of an agreement among all the parties to resolve the case. The settlement represents a resolution of disputed claims, for which the employees denied liability and specifically disputed not only the plaintiff’s legal theories, but also their asserted versions of facts and events. By the settlement, the parties will avoid additional protracted litigation, including a prolonged trial and potential appeals.

The Derek Sheely Foundation was established by Derek’s parents to increase awareness and research of concussion and traumatic brain injuries. As part of the settlement of the case, FSU has agreed to work with the Foundation in several areas in honoring Derek’s memory and continuing to recognize his leadership and involvement with the FSU community.

Specifically,

  • FSU will retire Derek’s football uniform number and display the jersey on campus.
  • FSU will remain committed to recognizing the importance of educating students about concussion and traumatic brain injuries in sports through several actions.
    • First, the Derek Thomson Sheely Leadership Award will become a full-tuition scholarship for the next 10 years. Begun by Derek’s parents in 2012, this award is presented annually to an FSU junior with a 3.4 or higher GPA who exemplifies Derek’s leadership qualities, and who will engage in community service in furtherance of the Derek Sheely Foundation’s goals.
    • FSU will hold an annual fundraiser for the benefit of the Derek Sheely Foundation.
    • FSU will partner with the NCAA and the University of Maryland Division of Medicine, in conjunction with the Derek Sheely Foundation, to sponsor a symposium on the reduction of catastrophic risk to student-athletes.
    • With the NCAA’s support, FSU will create a research award focused on a project dealing with catastrophic risk.

“Derek Sheely was an outstanding student and campus leader, well-liked by his professors, classmates and teammates,” said FSU President Ronald N. Nowaczyk. “The University takes these actions with the belief that they will have a lasting benefit to the health and safety of future student-athletes everywhere.”

(Frostburg State University will not comment on any aspects of the settlement involving other parties to the lawsuit.)

-end-

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589
E-mail: news@frostburg.edu