California Continues to Advocate for Student-Athletes

The “Student-Athletes’ Right to Know Act” recently went into effect in California and Connecticut, requiring colleges and universities in those states to post specific information concerning athletic scholarships on their athletic department websites.  The legislation, backed by the National College Players Association (“NCPA”), was intended to provide student-athletes and their parents a more complete picture of what is and what is not included in an athletic scholarship.

For all of its benefits, the Student-Athletes’ Right to Know Act requires transparency by colleges and universities, but doesn’t necessary effect change.  However, the California legislature recently passed a law that would protect certain Division I athletes in the event of a career-ending injury. 

The “Student-Athlete Bill of Rights”, which must be signed into law by the Governor, would provide injured athletes with academic scholarships if their athletic scholarships were lost to injury.  In addition, insurance deductibles and health care premiums would be covered for low-income student-athletes (among other things that I will cover in an upcoming post).  The law will not apply to all schools in California, but only to universities that receive more than $10 million annually in sports media revenue.  AP Writer Don Thompson has the story (via The Huffington Post).

According to Thompson, Stanford is the only university opposing the measure:

“It applies just to four universities out of scores of institutions of higher education in California and fails to protect the rights of the vast majority of student-athletes,” Patrick Dunkley, Stanford’s interim athletic director, said in a letter of opposition last month. “Why should a Stanford football player have protections provided by law that are denied a football player at San Jose State?”

Click here for a legislative summary of the bill.  It bears watching whether other states follow California’s lead and seek to address inadequacies in the protection of student-athletes through legislation.

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