Return to Blog

NCAA Considering Safety Legislation

With the Rules Working Group proposals attracting most of the attention and the normal legislative process shut down for at least the next two years, the Division I Legislative Council does not have much to do at the NCAA Convention this year. The council will take up some tabled proposals regarding the start of men’s basketball practice, but no other normal legislation is scheduled to be considered.

That does not mean the Legislative Council will be frozen out of major changes entirely. The Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports, part of the Championships/Sports Management Committee, has proposed a set of five safety related proposals, according to the Legislative Council’s agenda for its January meeting. Some are relatively minor, but one in particular could have a big effect on the day-to-day operation of an athletic department.

The proposals are:

  • To require football players be given three hours off between any practice session (including walk-throughs) during the entire period of preseason football practice.
  • To require that schools designate a team physician authorized to oversee medical care of student-athletes for each of its intercollegiate teams.
  • To require that all full-time coaches be certified in first aid, CPR, and AED use.
  • To require that all strength and conditioning coaches be certified through a national recognized certification program.
  • To require that schools report “catastrophic” injuries and deaths suffered by student-athletes.

Many schools require at least one coach on each team to be certified in CPR and/or AED use. First aid is a longer, more complicated certification than the other two. Add this certification to the existing recruiting exam and the likely additional education coming in the wake of the Sandusky scandal. College coaches will have even more responsibilities beyond just coaching and recruiting in the next couple of years.

All of these are proposed as emergency/noncontroversial legislation. Although the Board of Directors has agreed not to take up legislation from the Legislative Council this year or next, this type of safety legislation will be an exception.

Are you ready for the NEXT STEP!