Article Brief

Because college athletes have courageously stood up against injustice Power 5 conferences have passed new regulations that will require schools to pay full cost-of-attendance and guarantee four-year scholarships.

Today we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., one of the most important voices of the American civil rights movement, which fought for equal rights for all. Because college athletes have courageously stood up against injustice and have pressured the NCAA and schools to reform unjust policies, today, we also celebrate a major milestone in college athletes' rights. The Power 5 conferences have passed new regulations that will require schools to pay full cost-of-attendance and guarantee four-year scholarships.

A powerful players’ rights movement led by the National College Players Association with players publicly speaking against the NCAA demanding change, the Northwestern Players unionization led by Cain Kolter, and mega-lawsuits like the Ed’Obannon and Martin Jenkins cases were the catalysts that brought forth these reforms.

NCPA Executive Director Ramogi Huma stated, “College athletes have been putting tremendous pressure on NCAA to eliminate unjust policies and the NCPA has been advocating for these reforms since 2001. It’s great to see that after fighting these very same reforms for over a decade, the conferences are finally giving in to the pressure and implementing policies that will prohibit schools from eliminating the scholarships of injured players, increase graduation rates, and cover full cost of attendance.”

Change was long overdue and these reforms are a significant step in the right direction. Although the Power 5 conferences have implemented these new policies, history has shown that they can still roll them back. The NCAA has also avoided implementing crucial concussion reform to minimize brain trauma and players are often stuck with sports-related medical expenses. The NCPA will continue to fight for reform on behalf of college athletes’ rights, and is committed to making sure college athletes are provided with basic protections.