Riverside, CA – California Governor Jerry Brown signed the nation’s first Student-Athletes Bill of Rights (SB 1525) this afternoon. Sponsored by the National College Players Association (NCPA) and authored by California State Senator Alex Padilla, this new California law guarantees vital protections for California’s college athletes.
SB 1525 requires California’s Pac-12 colleges, which are flush with new TV revenue, to provide continuing education for players on teams with graduation rates below 60%, pay for sports-related medical expenses, cover medical coverage premiums for low income student-athletes, improve workout safety to avoid preventable deaths, provide financial and life skills workshops, and guarantee student-athletes the same due process rights that are given to regular students.
UCLA football players submitted a signed letter of support for SB 1525. UCLA football player Jeff Locke stated, "The passing of the California Student-Athletes Bill of Rights into law is a huge step in the right direction for securing basic protections for college athletes in California. Along with the work of Senator Padilla, his staff, and the NCPA, support among current student-athletes at UCLA was key to gaining support for this bill. I hope that college athletes and lawmakers in other states become aware of the protections that were secured for student-athletes by this bill, and they take the steps necessary to get a similar bill passed in their state."
NCPA President Ramogi Huma stated, “This is a great day for college athletes. California has acted to ensure that the players generating billions of dollars for its colleges are guaranteed basic physical, academic, and financial protections. No other state in the nation guarantees its college athletes these protections, and the NCPA will work to change that.”
SB 1525 requires any expenses related to this legislation to be funded by new TV revenue, which guarantees that taxpayer dollars and student fees will not be used. The Pac-12’s new TV deal will increase athletic program TV revenues from $6 million per year to an average of $21 million per year for twelve years for each Pacific 12 college including UC Berkeley, UCLA, Stanford, and USC. These programs are more than able to pay for the modest expenses associated with these protections.
Huma expressed his gratitude to Senator Padilla for authoring the bill. He stated, “Despite strong opposition from the colleges, his commitment to protect hard working athletes did not waiver. Senator Padilla is college athletes’ MVP.”
The NCPA is an advocacy group comprised of 17,000 current and former NCAA Division I student-athletes across the nation, and is the only independent voice for college athletes. Founded in 1997, the NCPA has helped bring forth numerous protections for college athletes of all sports including the passage of AB 2079, which requires California’s college athletic programs to make written information about key athletic policies and practices available to high school recruits. The NCPA has successfully advocated for the elimination of restrictions on medical coverage for sports workouts, a death benefit increase from $10k to $25k, an adequate home health care benefit for catastrophically injured student-athletes, and athletic programs’ option to guarantee multi year scholarships.
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