November 20, 2013


Wednesday, November 20, 2013



(Washington, DC) -- U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-San Fernando Valley), a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, today introduced legislation to protect collegiate student-athletes as they achieve academic goals, while also protecting the student-athletes’ health.

The Collegiate Student-Athlete Protection Act (CSAP) requires universities and colleges who profit most from the exploits of amateur athletes who trade athletic performance for the opportunity to achieve a high level of post-secondary education to guarantee that opportunity.

Institutions that receive more than $10 million per year in media revenue, whether through their own contracts or those of their athletic conferences, will be required to guarantee a fair opportunity to earn a college degree, within an appropriate timeframe, to student-athletes who maintain proper academic standing.

“High school kids enter into athletic scholarship contracts with the hopes of making it pro, but knowing they are likely playing the last four competitive years of their athletic lives,” said Cárdenas. “It is unacceptable to me, and to millions of other Americans, that schools earning billions from amateur athletics are able to discard these students and destroy their academic goals after a career-ending injury or simply because they are no longer athletically competitive. Worse still, many schools intentionally violate intended scholarship limits, while not renewing the scholarships of young men and women who are working hard for that elusive degree.”

The CSAP Act is co-sponsored by Oversight and Government Reform Committee Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (MD), Charlie Rangel (NY), Tim Ryan (OH), Jared Huffman (CA) and Betty McCollum (MN).

The goal of the CSAP Act is to ensure that an inability to compete does not leave the scholarship contract null and void, allowing universities latitude on continued funding for an agreed upon scholarship. It would also protect current and former student-athletes who can be left to pay for medical expenses incurred from injuries suffered while participating in intercollegiate athletics.

To achieve these goals, the CSAP Act will require alternate academic scholarships for any student-athlete involuntarily removed from completion for a college or university, but who maintains their academic standing. It also requires life skills and finance workshops including explanation of the full rights provided in scholarships and what student-athletes can expect to pay in health care costs.

To protect the student-athlete, they will also be afforded the same due process procedures as other students of the institution, including for the reduction of athletically related student aid.

Finally, the bill requires schools to ensure concussion education and prevention, and requires schools to cover insurance deductibles and health care premiums for low-income student-athletes. Any student-athlete injured during sports participation will also have out of pocket expenses covered by the college or university, until the injury is resolved. If it is an ongoing injury coverage will continue for a period not less than 2 years after the student graduates or separates from the institution.

View a section-by-section summary of the Collegiate Student-Athlete Protection Act here.

View the full text of the legislation here.