(CBS) The NFL omitted more than 100 diagnosed concussions, including those to stars like Steve Young and Troy Aikman, in a study that downplayed the effects of head injuries, according to a New York Times report.

This study was conducted between 1996 and 2001, with flaws in its research that compare to the tobacco industry’s misleading reports.

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In 1994, the NFL formed a committee amid a time when some of its players were retiring early in their careers due to concerns over their health. Confidential information obtained by the New York Times showed that the NFL left out more than 100 concussion in its research, then calculated the rate of head injuries to a lesser number.

Responding to the New York Times, the NFL said that teams weren’t required to issue concussion data to the league at this time, and the missing cases of concussions weren’t meant to mislead this study. The league followed up with two lengthy statements in defense — an initial reaction and a follow up entitled “More To The Story.” 

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Dr. Joseph Waeckerle, a member of the league’s concussion committee, told the New York Times that he was unaware of the omissions, adding: “If somebody made a human error or somebody assumed the data was absolutely correct and didn’t question it, well, we screwed up. If we found it wasn’t accurate and still used it, that’s not a screw-up; that’s a lie.”

The NFL in 2013 agreed to a $765 million settlement with retired players for a lawsuit in which the league was accused of covering up valuable information about head trauma.

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In the report, the New York Times stated that it found no direct link that the NFL borrowed this strategy from the tobacco industry.