While athletes at the college level participate on an amateur level, they do get benefits such as a full scholarship. However, they do not get paid for their services, and they are not allowed to profit off of their likeness. Therefore, some argue that universities have a responsibility to protect their athletes from injuries that could negatively impact their future earning potential.
There are many steps that both universities and the NCAA are taking to keep athletes safe. For instance, if a player experiences a head injury during a game, he or she is immediately taken off of the field. The player who initiates contact could be ejected from a game for targeting the victim’s head. Athletes are also limited to no more than fifteen to twenty hours of practice time per week. This helps to keep them fresh while also providing enough time to attend to their schoolwork.
Often times insurance is used to recruit top talent, though it’s by no means required in all universities. Athlete insurance policies can reimburse some or all lost earnings related to a career-altering or career-ending injury suffered in college. These types of policies are generally used in football and basketball since players receive guaranteed money based on where they are drafted. Therefore, even a small drop in draft status could result in millions of dollars in lost income. It can also result in losing endorsement deals that can also be worth millions of dollars.
Proper Physical Training
One way to ensure that athletes are protected against injury is to make sure that they are using proper techniques and doing preventative stretching during practice. For example, football players should practice proper techniques for tackling to avoid head injuries. Players should also be encouraged to do proper warm-up and cool-down stretches to prevent injury. Doing this will expand muscle fibers to increase flexibility, and flexible muscles are less prone to injury. It’s the university’s responsibility to provide coaches that can teach these proper techniques and can encourage athletes to use them.
Universities generally have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for their students. Therefore, if there is something that they can do to minimize an athlete’s risk, such action should be taken. If students have any concerns about their safety, they should take up those concerns with their coach, school president, or anyone else who can address the matter.
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