Fair Treatment of College Student-Athletes

The Legislative Commission on the Fair Treatment of College Student-Athletes met on October 3, 2018.

NCAA Presentation

Scott Bearby, the Vice President and General Counsel provided an overview of the NCAA governance structure. He noted that since 2013, the Sport Science Institute has worked with NCAA members to create nine priorities including the following:

  • Cardiac health
  • Concussion
  • Doping and substance abuse
  • Mental health
  • Nutrition, sleep and performance
  • Overuse injuries and periodization
  • Sexual assault and interpersonal violence
  • Athletics healthcare administration
  • Data-driven decisions

UNC System Presentation

UNC Charlotte Chancellor, Philip L. Dubois presented on behalf of the UNC System.

Medical Care

Chancellor Dubois noted that institutions are required to provide independent medical care and affirm the unchallengeable autonomous authority of primary athletics health care providers to determine medical management and return to play decisions. Providers include athletic trainers and team physicians. However, the athletic trainer must work under the supervision of a physician.

Insurance Coverage

Students are required to have insurance via a parental policy, private individual insurance, or through the UNC BCBS policy.

Health Testing

UNC Charlotte staff noted that all UNC Charlotte athletes are required to do sickle cell testing and concussion baseline testing.

Sport Concussion Updates

Dr. Johna Register-Malik, PhD provided an overview of managing concussions. She noted that medical providers should have unchallengeable authority in medical decision making.

NC Athletic Trainer’s Association Presentation

Nina Walker, the Vice President of the NC Athletic Trainers’ Association noted that all athletic training services are under the direct supervision of a physician. She added that athletic trainers are crucial members of the health care team because of their daily interaction with athletes.

National College Players Association 

Ramona Huma, the Executive Director of the National College Players Association stated that 50% of athletic trainers admit to returning players with concussions to the same game. Yet, the NCAA foes not punish personnel for knowingly returning a player with a concussion to the same game. She recommended legislators to appoint independent experts to lead athletic protection programs and to establish assistance for injured athletes.

Player’s Perspective

David Collins, a former UNC football player recommend that legislators consider ways to ensure concussion protocols are standardized across NC. He also suggested adding college students to the NC State Health plan and to investigate ways to improve the relationship between stakeholders from a health policy perspective.

Victoria Allred, a former ECU women’s golf player shared her personal story of combatting a back injury as a student athlete. Her father, Jay Allred also discussed steps that NC can take to ensure student-athlete protection.


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