Why We're Doing It
College athletes generate billions of dollars per year yet lack basic protections because of NCAA rules. It has been common to see headlines about the NCAA punishing players for receiving groceries when they were hungry, playing in a church league, washing their car using a hose at their university, and spreading cream cheese on bagels.
The NCAA recently stated in court papers that it “has no legal duty to protect college athletes” from injury, and has failed to investigate and minimize concussion-related deaths. NCAA enforcement staff has suspended players for selling their own bowl rings but admits it would not punish a coach for knowingly putting a player with a concussion back in a game. The NCAA continues to look the other way amidst data showing that half of athletic trainers report being pressured by coaches to play concussed players.
Currently, over $1.2 billion in NEW TV revenue is flooding NCAA sports yet players are too often stuck with sports-related medical expenses, can lose their scholarships if they are permanently injured, and “full” scholarships are capped by the NCAA below the cost of attendance by $3,000-$5,000 per player per year.
Data have shown that virtually all of the new athletic revenues generated over the last several decades have been spent on excessive salaries and luxury athletic facilities while college athletes are denied basic protections. NCAA sports has used a false notion of amateurism as a guise to siphon revenue that would otherwise be used to protect the college athletes, and NCAA policymakers are paid handsomely to make sure that the system does not change. CAPA is empowering college athletes to change these unjust NCAA rules and secure much-needed protections.