Student-athletes in California colleges earned a major coup in the form of a bill of rights. Student-athletes, often subjecting their bodies to additional harm in their respective sports, now have guaranteed protections of their scholarships and medical benefits in the event they suffer an injury. For students who earn millions of dollars for their respective schools on the athletic fields, the provisions were necessary in order to protect the athlete.
Far too often we hear about an athlete suffering a season (or career) ending injury. What most people do not hear is that after the player is rendered incapable of competing, they are likely to have their scholarship revoked or ongoing medical treatments stopped. In an industry that creates millions of dollars off of the students, providing a full scholarship to a player who will not contribute to an athletic team symbolizes a waste of money for many athletic departments.
However, now with California’s revolutionary “Student-Athlete Bill of Rights,” students will be able to have protections to the scholarship that they earned. Athletes who already commit countless hours to competing, training, and studying, have very little time to earn additional income. Even in the rare event that a student-athlete has enough time to commit to a side job, the NCAA places many restrictions on the amount of money a student can make. Now, a student can rest assured knowing that their education that they earned with their athletic prowess will be paid for even after suffering an injury.
Furthermore, the new Bill of Rights will cover most of the medical expenses incurred by the student while playing their respective sports. If a student requires additional medical expenses after they graduate, the schools must pay for at least two years of treatment. In a sport like football, the likelihood of suffering a debilitating injury is high and the cost of treating the injury is far too burdensome on a student.
In addition to educational and medical protections, the Bill of Rights requires schools to implement certain financial and life skill workshops for athletes who may earn a windfall in the form of a professional sports contract after graduation. The story of a superstar athlete who goes bankrupt, even with millions of dollars earned, is far too common and the Bill of Rights will help to educate the students.
I think that the student-athlete bill of rights is a revolutionary concept that is necessary to protect students. College athletics earn millions of dollars for Universities every year and the students-athletes did not have any protections for the scholarship that they earned prior to this bill. It is simply unfair for an athlete, whom is often unable to attend college without earning the athletic scholarship, to have a chance to lose their academic and medical support if they are no longer able to compete. Is California on the right track with the Student-Athlete Bill of Rights or are the students being over protected?