College athletes participating in Boston's four Division I athletic programs could soon have the best protections in the nation.
Boston, MA – College athletes participating in Boston's four Division I athletic programs could soon have the best protections in the nation. Boston City Councillor Josh Zakim has proposed concussion reform and a College Athletes Bill of Rights modeled on the NCPA-sponsored law approved by the state of California in 2012. NCPA Executive Director Ramogi Huma will testify today in a Boston City Council hearing in support of proposed city ordinances that would require universities in Boston to cover all sports related medical expenses for life, ensure players in good standing do not lose their scholarships, extend scholarships for up to one year for players who exhaust their eligibility but have not graduated, comply with protocols to reduce the risk of traumatic brain injury, and more.NCAA rules allow schools to force their athletes to pay all sports-related medical expenses, take scholarships away from players in good standing, and allow coaches to knowingly put players with concussions in games."These protections would go far beyond any others in the nation, and not a moment to soon," Huma stated. If the city ordinances are approved, Boston would be the first city to mandate significant reform in NCAA sports. The hearing takes place just one day after the NCAA announced ineffective concussion guidelines instead of mandatory, enforceable protections. Huma stated, "While NCAA sports celebrates fake concussion reform, the city of Boston is considering real protections for college athletes. The NCAA, conference commissioners, and universities have fought against our push for these basic protections for over a decade. Change is long overdue."Ellen Staurowsky, Professor of Sport Management at Drexel University and brain trauma prevention advocate Chris Nowinski from the Sports Legacy Institute are also expected to testify in support of the ordinances.