Health, Safety & Abuse

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The NCAA says it has no duty to protect college athletes, does not enforce health and safety standards (including concussion protocols), and will not punish a coach who knowingly requires players with concussions to return to the same game.  The lack of accountability to implement best practices too often leads to negligent, hazardous workouts that seriously harms or kills players.

NCAA President, Victims, Fmr Michigan St Dr. Larry NassarLeft to Right: NCAA President Mark Emmert, Sexual Assault Victims, Fmr Michigan State Dr. Larry Nassar Convicted of Sexually Assaulting Numerous Gymnasts

In addition, the NCAA does not prohibit the physical or sexual abuse of college athletes.  The NCAA ruled in 2018 Michigan State team doctor Larry Nassar’s sexual assaults against Michigan State gymnasts and the college’s failure to address the victims’ complaints did not violate NCAA rules.

The NCAA will punish a player for receiving a free lunch but will not investigate if that player dies in a hazardous workout or is sexually assaulted? 

The Team Physician Consensus Statement (published jointly by 6 medical associations) states in part that those with professional/personal gain can compromise the well-being of college athletes.  Surveys demonstrate that such negligence and mistreatment is rampant in NCAA sports.

The National Athletic Trainer’s Association’s survey revealed 50% of trainers pressured are by coaches to return players with concussions to the same game.  In addition, an NCAA study found that 50% of athletic trainers admit to returning players with concussions to same game.

The Solution

 Bring forth laws to establish an independent government program to do what the NCAA refuses to do: protect college athletes. 

The program should include the following provisions to ensure proper protection of college athletes:

  1. A panel of experts (who are not university, conference, or athletic association personnel) with the duties below.
  • Identify best practices and enforce mandatory standards to prevent college athlete abuse, serious injury, and death. 
  • Receive, track, and investigate complaints regarding suspected violations.           
  • Conduct periodic compliance inspections.
  • Inform college athletes of their rights under the law.
  • Inform colleges, conferences, athletics association and their personnel of their responsibilities.
  • Establish and enact remedies and penalties for individual violators, including professional development training and the possibility of a lifetime ban on serving as personnel or as a volunteer in intercollegiate athletics.
  1. Prohibit retaliation against individuals filing a complaint.
  2. Require athletics personnel to report suspected violations.
  3. Secure funding through an athletic program fee assessment.