New Law to Help Injured Student Athletes in California

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A bill signed into law Sept. 27 will provide significant financial support for California university student athletes whose potential athletic careers have been ended by sports injuries. It is the first such law passed in the country.

Four California universities will benefit from the bill, SB1525. The four schools — University of Southern California, UCLA, Berkeley and Stanford — receive over $10 million a year in sports media revenue.

Students who lose their athletic scholarships because they are injured during their games will, among other rewards, receive:

  • Academic scholarships
  • Coverage of insurance deductibles and health care premiums for low income athletes
  • Payment for future medical costs for injuries suffered while on the field

“Neither personal injury nor poverty should dim the dreams of a student-athlete pursuing a college degree, particularly when their performance has enriched their college,” Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, said in a statement given to the Associated Press.

A 16-year study by the NCAA referred to by Padilla indicated that thousands of students are hurt every year on the field while training or playing and that their injuries end their chances for a career in sports.

Two universities opposed the bill because it did not include universities whose programs attracted less media attention and funding. Stanford objected to the bill’s final version. USC, which initially objected to the funding bill, ended its objections when lawmakers changed the bill, reducing its scope. Both schools were concerned that too many student athletes at the uncovered universities would not benefit.

The new law would apply to students at the beginning of the 2013-2014 academic year.

Source: Associated Press

Sports injuries can be serious. To speak with a San Diego personal injury lawyer about a sports-related accident or injury, contact The Law Office of Melinda J. Helbock today.