President Obama expresses concern for college football players sustaining concussions without support from NCAA.

January 28, 2013

Riverside, CA - Ramogi Huma, president of the National College Players Association, today released the following statement in the wake of President Obama’s comments on player safety and player equity.

“In an age when the college athlete is often voiceless, it is encouraging to hear the President voice a clear and honest opinion on the issue of players’ rights,” Huma said. “I applaud the President for speaking out, and urge his continued leadership on this matter. As our organization has said for more than a decade, there should be no higher priority for the NCAA than the care and safety of its athletes.”

In an interview with The New Republic, the President said:

I tend to be more worried about college players than NFL players in the sense that the NFL players have a union, they're grown men, they can make some of these decisions on their own, and most of them are well-compensated for the violence they do to their bodies. You read some of these stories about college players who undergo some of these same problems with concussions and so forth and then have nothing to fall back on. That's something that I'd like to see the NCAA think about.

“The President is right: it’s time for the NCAA to give athletes a seat at the table,” Huma said. “It’s time for the NCAA to stop denying athletes the most basic of rights and protections—due process, comprehensive health care, and adequate safety precautions. In the absence of these reforms, there will continue to be a fundamental imbalance in college athletics.”

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Launched by a group of UCLA football players in 2001, 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 worked to achieve a voice for the athlete and an equitable balance power and value between the schools, the sanctioning bodies, and the heart of sport—the athlete.  NCPA does so by advocating for players’ rights, due process, improved player safety, increased graduation rates, additional employment opportunities, and the closure of the so-called “scholarship shortfall.” 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. Today the NCPA has over 17,000 members from over 150 Division I campuses nationwide.