In June, the NCPA testified in Boston City Council hearings to urge the city to do what the NCAA refuses to do - protect college athletes. This week, Boston became the first city in history to require protections for college athletes.
In June, the NCPA testified in Boston City Council hearings to urge the city to do what the NCAA refuses to do - protect college athletes. This week, Boston became the first city in history to require protections for college athletes when the City Council voted in favor of a law to reduce the risk of brain trauma for players.
Neurotrauma consultants will be required by Boston city law to be in attendance at every NCAA Division I football, hockey and and lacrosse events.
Boston City Council member Josh Zakim proposed the ordinance in May. Now that it's passed, it will go into effect on July 1, 2015.
Boston College is the only FBS program that plays its home games within Boston, but it'll also cover Boston University, Harvard and Northeastern.
“Most major Division I programs probably meet this definition already, but I think you might see it have more of an impact at a smaller school,” Dan Sibor, the chief of staff for Zakim, told CBS Sports. “There's no competitive consideration here. The consultant is supporting the onsite medical teams for the two teams. The final decision on evaluating a player still remains with the medical staff of that player.”
Schools must also have emergency action plans and if a player has or is suspected to have a concussion he is prohibited from playing in the game. The city passed the plan because of a lack of a comprehensive NCAA plan. The NCAA passed concussion guidelines in July, however they were not designed as rules so that they can be tweaked as research allows.
“It may be as simple as periodically sending people out to check for compliance or asking the schools to submit a report,” Sibor told CBS. “There's a self-reporting aspect to it where if a student or family has a complaint, they can call the commission as well. The commission could establish fines. They could use the services of the attorney general's office. We're pretty confident most of the schools in the city takes this really seriously already.”
In addition to the neurotrauma consultant requirement for head and neck injuries, Zakim also proposed an ordinance in May that would require all city schools to offer four-year scholarships. While four-year scholarships are available, schools have been slow to publicly adopt the trend. Teams like Maryland, USC and Indiana have announced that they will provide full scholarships. (Multi-year scholarships were banned from 1973-2012.)
“If the mission of the NCAA and its member institutions truly is to educate, then scholarships should not be renewable at the sole discretion of the school,” Zakim said in May via the Back Bay Sun. “Asking college athletes to make a four year commitment to their schools without any reciprocal commitment from the school is unjust and hypocritical.”
Per CBS, the scholarship ordinance is set to be voted on later in the fall.