College sports ain’t what they used to be. And they likely ain’t what they will be in the future, either. What collegiate athletics looks like in 2050 is certainly uncertain, but one thing that is a near certainty is that big changes are afield.
The latest indication of this comes from Boston city councilor Josh Zakim, who is proposing a College Athletes Bill of Rights, which would require universities to cover the sports-related medical expenses of athletes for the rest of their lives, as well as have the schools honor athletic scholarships for a reasonable amount of time even if an athlete stops playing sports. (Currenlty colleges can drop a student-athletes scholarship if said student-athlete is inured, even if said injury occurs while playing the sport for which the scholarship has been offered.)
Today’s Boston Globe ran an AP story about Zakim’s proposal.
“If the university and conferences and the NCAA are not going to act, it’s up to local governments to see what they can do to protect players,” said Ramogi Huma, a former UCLA football player who founded the NCPA (National College Players Association) in 2001, and is currently involved with the unionization efforts of the Northwestern University football team. “If they can comply with rules that try to prevent players from selling their own bowl rings, or from receiving a few bucks for signing autographs, they can comply with rules designed to protect players’ long-term health.”
We will see how Zakim’s proposal is received. Not just in Boston, but here in the Valley, and across the changing college sports landscape.