State to be first to require financial protections for career-ending injuries
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/02/2012 -- In what will make it the first state to do so, California will mandate financial protections for student athletes suffering career-ending injuries in several of the state’s leading college sports programs.
SB1525, recently signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, will safeguard athletes at the four universities that receive more than $10 million annually in sports media revenue. These are the University of Southern California, UCLA, Berkeley and Stanford.
The legislation will be implemented at the start of the 2013-2014 school year and won’t apply to this year's college seniors.
"This legislation is the first of its kind in the nation and promises student-athletes important protections that should have been in place long ago," Ramogi Huma, president of the National College Players Association.
Students at the affected schools who suffer injuries curtailing their athletic careers while playing their sport will be given academic scholarships to replace their athletic scholarships. These schools will also be required to cover insurance deductibles and pay health care premiums for low-income athletes.
The law also requires the universities to cover future medical expenses for injuries sustained on the field, which goes a step beyond provisions some professional athletes receive.
"Neither personal injury nor poverty should dim the dreams of a student-athlete pursuing a college degree, particularly when their performance has enriched their college," said Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles. He referred to a study conducted over a period of 16 years by the NCAA and Journal of Athletic Training indicating that every year thousands of college athletes are injured while training or playing their respective sports with many of these injuries ending their careers.
The only university to object to the bill was Stanford. Officials there said it was unfair to include their school among the leading money-generating universities.
San Diego State University may eventually be included under the provisions of the bill, as it recently became part of a different conference with higher-paying television rights.
USC Vice President of Athletic Compliance David Roberts said his school dropped its initial objections after legislators tightened the focus of the bill. He added his school shares concerns that the law will not cover most California students.
Brown recently signed several other higher education bills, including AB970, which would require the University of California and California State University systems to offer public notice and consult with students prior to raising tuition.
That bill requires universities to provide weeks of public notice before considering fee increases, provide written justification for the proposed hikes, outline the effect on students, and offer an explanation of any possible alternatives.
Brown signed the bills during a meeting in his office at the Capitol with more than a dozen college students on hand.
InjuryLawOklahoma.com (http://www.injurylawoklahoma.com/), is a injury law firm based in Oklahoma. The lawyers specializes in construction accidents, auto and motorcycle accidents, wrongful death, medical malpractice and premises liability among other areas and guarantee clients the right to claim what is theirs.
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