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And when AB 2079 passes, credit Huma with another tackle. With an assist to Schwarzenegger. "Now the governor, who was himself once a prominent athlete, can enshrine his legacy by protecting California athletes," said Huma.

Ramogi Huma can't wait much longer to get Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph. He's hopeful it's not the last thing the California governor does before leaving office, even though it could be the first major move in making sure college recruits and their families have less to be confused about.

A former UCLA linebacker and executive director of the National College Players Association, Huma has gotten to intimately know the Student-Athletes Right to Know Bill (AB 2079), which in the past three months has been passed in both the state assembly and senate.

It's demands are things you'd think would already be mandatory - universities will have to provide recruits a summary of their policies on everything from medical insurance limits to athlete transfer rates and scholarship renewals.

Whatever a deceptive recruiter is blathering about in the heat of the moment while the family is gathered around the kitchen table now has to produce truths.

Who pays the medical bills if he or she gets hurt? How often does a school drop a player from scholarship each year?

How ridiculous it's taken this long to get this far.

"The average player trying to navigate through this process, they have no chance," Huma said from his Riverside office Friday. "When you consider a vast majority of the state's universities are public - tax-payer supported - yet so many athletes and their families can be misled and kept in the dark, people shouldn't stand for that.

"Seeing the bill come this close to be signed, it's an exciting time in California. We're a prominent state in recruiting and on the brink of finally doing the right thing. Once it happens here, there are other states ready to follow."

In the 13 years since Huma commandeered this advocacy foundation for equality and fairness for college athletes in the face of NCAA hypocrisy, plenty of victories have been recorded.

Mostly through the help of legislators championing their causes, the NCPA has improved health-care benefits, found more ways for athletes to gain additional scholarship money to complete or further their education, upgraded safety guidelines for workouts and eliminated salary caps on part-time student jobs.

Huma laid the groundwork for this job when he was a freshman at UCLA, recruited by Terry Donahue out of Bishop Amat High. In 1995, Huma was the backup to All-American Donnie Edwards, whom the NCAA suspended for accepting groceries on his doorstep after explaining on a local sports-talk show that he had trouble meeting expenses at the end of the month with his scholarship stipend allotment.

"A lot of us could relate to that," Huma said. "We were all told our necessities would be met. No one condones breaking the rules, but then we saw Donnie's jersey sold in the store, we could see money changing hands. We knew the stadium was full of people to watch us. We realize we were lifeblood of this multimillion dollar industry, and we had no way to voice concerns. It opened my eyes."

The only place to go with questions was to university administrators - who are, in effect, part of the NCAA's structure.

Could they transfer after Donahue left as head coach? Did they have to do "voluntary" offseason workouts, even if the school's compliance officers told them UCLA wouldn't pay medical expenses if they were injured?

In his second year following a redshirt season because of a broken foot, Huma started a student reform group in 1997.

"All we needed at UCLA were three people and a mission statement," Huma said.

They had a mission. The NCPA recruited more than 1,000 football and basketball players from universities across the nation to join hands. Now, there's 14,000 members, with about 7,000 active college athletes.

"I've always looked up to athletes who were most outspoken when they had something to lose," Huma said. "They put themselves on the line."

A career-ending hip injury in his junior season of 1998 didn't stop Huma, who was then a starter, from graduating in four years with a degree in sociology, and continuing with a Masters in public health.

Before he took over as head of the NCPA, he created the first athletic director and football coach at Discovery Prep Charter School in Pacoima. Although it was "a great experience and we proved how sports can elevate a school that's otherwise susceptible to gang activity," Huma discovered if the NCPA was to move forward, it demanded his full-time attention.

Huma knows where to pick his battles. It's helping athletes who are in a spot where he once was and have nowhere else to turn for guidance.

When the NCPA asked every Division I school in California to disclose their medical information policies, for example, about 90 percent turned it down. Including Huma's alma mater.

And when AB 2079 passes, credit Huma with another tackle. With an assist to Schwarzenegger.

"Now the governor, who was himself once a prominent athlete, can enshrine his legacy by protecting California athletes," said Huma.

Autograph, please?

More Q-and-A with Huma on AB 2079 and the NCPA on the blog: www.insidesocal.com/tomhoffarth/archives/2010/08/more-on-the-ncp.html