Nov 18, 2015Post-Graduation Health Insurance for All Power 5 Student-Athletes?
The chairman of NCAA’s top policy-making group for Division I has encouraged the largest conferences to follow Pac-12’s example—by providing health care coverage for student-athletes post-graduation. President at the University South Carolina and Chair of the Division I Board of Directors Harris Pastides told USA Today that offering health care should be a priority.
“There’s no doubt that safety is maybe the issue of the day,” said Pastides. “We recruit young people to come and play for us and injury is part of (playing college sports). So if we shake hands and make a pact and recruit them and pay for their education either in whole or in part and something goes wrong in executing that, I think we need to stick with them.”
Under Pac-12’s new bylaws, athletes get coverage for injuries they sustain during their collegiate careers, for up to four years after graduation or until they turn 26, whichever comes first. The Pac-12 also provides comprehensive health insurance for injuries sustained by enrolled students. Pastides says that some schools outside the Pac-12 do provide these services but hopes that the top five conferences—Pac-12, the Atlantic Coast, Big 12, Big Ten, and Southeastern—which now have greater autonomy within the NCAA, will come to a consensus on the issue.
“I personally hope that the autonomy grouping that links the five conferences together would have made these conversations more universal among the five conferences, as opposed to conferences coming out and saying, ‘We’re going to do this,’” Pastides said.