Senator Richard Blumenthal has introduced the College Athletes Bill of Rights, comprehensive legislation that he says will ensure health care for injured athletes, establish new protections for women’s sports programs by requiring conferences follow Title IX in their tournaments, and allow athletes to market their name, image and likeness.
Blumenthal says for decades, the National Collegiate Athletic Association has profited off of college athletes, while failing to protect their health, safety, economic rights, and educational outcomes. The College Athlete Bill of Rights seeks to hold the N-C-A-A accountable for the well-being and success of college athletes by setting wellness standards, improving educational outcomes, and establishing a Medical Trust Fund for athletes to cover costs of any out-of-pocket medical expenses.
The bill will also ensure that athletes who are injured, do not lose their scholarships.
The legislation also includes provisions to require universities and colleges to be more transparent about their Title IX compliance and to ensure collegiate athletic associations do not discriminate on the basis of sex when it comes to health, safety, medical care, athletic participation and facilities. High profile stories and reports about inadequate facilities and support for women’s tournaments have shed a light on the persistent problem of unequal facilities and resources available to women college athletes.
He added that the N-C-A-A’s draconian rules have built a broken, unfair system on the backs of these athletes’ blood, sweat and tears.