It has been called “the most remarkable feat in sports journalism history” — Alan Schwarz’s four-year series of more than 120 articles that exposed the NFL’s cover-up of head injuries and rates of dementia among retired players, which brought about congressional hearings, rule changes at all levels of sports and a $1 billion class-action settlement.

Schwarz was one of three finalists for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, journalism’s highest honor.

To see documents and other inside-the-investigation materials, visit the Concussion Museum

DAN ROONEY, 1932 - 2017: As we remember all the wonderful things that Dan Rooney did for the city of Pittsburgh and the NFL -- particularly the Rooney Rule, which was one of the most important measures in sports history in improving hiring of minority coaches and team personnel -- he unfortunately was also one of so many owners who could not see one of the most vexing problems the league has ever faced. I spoke with him at the 2009 Super Bowl, where he told me that NFL players don't get dementia more than the national population and, 'They don't get hit as much as maybe some people are trying to say.' The original audio is below:

Breakthrough New York Times article featured in Will Smith movie “Concussion”

Schwarz describes key moments of investigation in Steve James documentary “Head Games”

Alan Schwarz on “Economist” magazine round table

Schwarz appears on “Meet the Press” to discuss class-action lawsuit settlement

“Initial reaction [to Schwarz] was, ‘This guy’s out to get football.’ I felt a little of that myself. … They may never give Alan himself credit, but he’s done the work of angels.”

Gregg Easterbrook

ESPN, in the New Yorker

“Alan Schwarz’s excellent reporting in the New York Times … has changed and will continue to change how the N.F.L. addresses the obvious consequences of playing football for a living.”


“He singlehandedly has created the coverage of concussions in all sports. His has been the most remarkable feat in sports journalism history.”

Murray Chass

Hall of Fame sportswriter

“Led by the ongoing reporting of Alan Schwarz in the New York Times, more and more is being learned about the now undeniable link between concussions, especially repeat concussions, and subsequent problems with dementia, depression, early-onset Alzheimer’s, an entire array of serious medical problems … “

Bob Costas

Football Night in America, NBC

“[Schwarz] has owned and operated this story from the beginning. … For the life of me I have no idea why he hasn’t won a Pulitzer.”

Malcolm Gladwell

“Without being shrill or hysterical, but logical and persistent, the man who still wants to be a math teacher is helping change the way all of us will think about football in the future. … Nobody had the knowledge, the forum, the backing, the timing, the energy, the intellectual capacity and the repetitive force that Schwarz now has.’’

Rick Telander

The Chicago Sun-Times