NCPA-sponsored bill to establish and enforce health and safety standards in college sports gains momentum.
NCPA's College Athlete Protection Act cleared another committee 9-3 yesterday after testimony from NCPA Executive Director Ramogi Huma and Enrique Gama whose son was seriously harmed during a Fresno St football workout. Read testimony about his family's nightmare and why he supports AB 1435:
"Good afternoon, my name is Enrique Gama. I am the father of current Fresno State football player Shane Gama and I support AB1435.
On July 15th, 2016 I received the worst news that any parent will ever receive. An athletic trainer from Fresno State said my son Shane collapsed during a football workout, was unresponsive, and was being transported by ambulance to the hospital.
My family and I raced to the hospital in Fresno to find my son in an induced coma with tubes in his mouth. The doctor said that there was no way of knowing if he would survive and, if he did, what the long term damage would be since he had sustained damage to his liver, kidneys, heart, muscle tissue, and perhaps even his brain.
Shane received a blood transfusion and a hole was drilled into his knee to administer medicine directly into his bone marrow. I spoke to the chaplain several times.
Fresno State told me that Shane had succumbed to heat stroke during a punishment exercise in a 12-3pm workout when the temperature was 102 degrees. He and his teammates were in black shirts and shorts and there was no ice tub available in case of emergency.
Previously, I thought that the NCAA enforced safety standards but I found out later that it doesn’t. Ensuring safeguards to prevent heat stroke and other serious conditions could save other athletes and their families from the horrific experience my family and I experienced.
I am grateful to Fresno State for giving my son an opportunity to play the sport he loves while pursuing his education. I believe Fresno State wants to make sure its athletes are safe. In that spirit, I believe AB 1435 is a win-win for California’s athletes and colleges.
Please vote YES on AB 1435. Thank you."