Washington, DC— The National College Players Association (NCPA), an advocacy group made up of 17,000 current and former Division I student-athletes, is calling upon the BCS Oversight Presidential Committee to use a portion of new TV revenue resulting from a college football playoff to minimize the risk of degenerative brain conditions associated with participation in college football and other contact sports.
“Our universities shouldn’t add extra games without adding extra protections to minimize the head trauma risks associated with contact sports,” stated NCPA President Ramogi Huma. The NCPA wants every playoff meeting held by conference commissioners and university presidents to include discussions about using playoff revenue to help protect the health of the players.
The NCPA is calling on college presidents, conference commissioners, and the NCAA for the immediate enactment of The Concussion Awareness and Reduction Emergency (CARE) Plan, which was developed by the NCPA Players Council:
1. Reduce contact during practices.
Football-specific practice limits:
• Football camp maximum limit: 4 practices/week in full pads
• Regular season and post season maximum limit: Full pads & half pads once/week
• Spring football maximum Limit: 8 practices in full pads
2. Freeze the maximum number of regular season games.
3. Long-term monitoring and data collection of former college athletes that participated in contact sports.
4. Support for former college athletes suffering from degenerative brain conditions associated with participation in college athletics.
5. Warn student-athletes in contact sports about CTE and degenerative brain conditions associated with contact sports as called for by the Sports Legacy Institute.
“College football players cannot afford another season without reducing the incidences of head trauma during practices. You can still have a great sport with less contact,” Huma this week told the Birmingham News.
The NCPA is announcing the CARE Plan after the NFL and the Ivy League moved to reduce the amount of contact in football practices. “While the NFL and the Ivy League have responded to the serious health risks associated with head trauma in contact sports, the NCAA, its college presidents, and the other conference commissioners have done nothing to protect their players.”
In addition to advocating for the CARE Plan, the NCPA will continue to push the NCAA and its member schools to use $800 million/yr in new conference and NCAA TV revenues to increase graduation rates that hover around 50% in football and men’s basketball, grant scholarships that cover the full cost of attendance, and mandate health care coverage for all sports-related medical expenses.
“It is our hope that these college presidents and conference commissioners will come up for air from counting playoff dollars and realize their players are desperate for basic protections that can be funded with some of the new playoff revenue,” Huma stated. “It’s embarrassing and unacceptable that conference commissioners and presidents aren’t discussing guaranteed health care for sports-related injuries.”
Launched by a group of UCLA football players in 1997, the National College Players Association serves as the only independent voice for college athletes across the nation. Since its first press conference on Jan. 18, 2001, the NCPA has advocated for players’ rights, due process, improved player safety, increased graduation and degree completion rates, additional employment opportunities, and the closure of “scholarship shortfalls.” Over the past decade NCPA has been featured in countless media outlets, including CBS 60 Minutes, ESPN, CNN, ABC News, Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal.