The College Athletes Players Association (CAPA) and Executive Director Ramogi Huma’s (Huma) efforts to unionize the Northwestern University football team failed when the National Labor Relations Board refused to rule on the legal ability of these student athletes to form a union. Huma has now shifted his focus to working with the National College Players Association (NCPA) in an effort to impact the relationship between student-athletes and colleges with the creation of the College Athlete Protection Guarantee (Guarantee) and the College Athlete Protection Agreement (Agreement).
The Guarantee and the Agreement were recently introduced at the National Basketball Players Association’s camp held at the University of Virginia for the top 100 rising high school senior basketball players. The Guarantee encourages these highly recruited basketball recruits and other student-athletes who are being recruited to play college sports to use their leverage to request and negotiate issues like their right to secure medical treatment and insurance beyond the years of collegiate athletic eligibility and to seek an automatic scholarship release if they decide to transfer to another university.
The Guarantee claims that student athletes can secure additional protections and benefits that could be worth over $100,000 more than minimum scholarships without breaking any NCAA rules. The Guarantee encourages transparency on protections and benefits because Huma claims coaches often break verbal promises and stated,
“Coaches themselves don’t rely on verbal promises from their college and neither should you.”
Huma further asserts, “..this will change things. This is a good place to start. It opens a Pandora’s Box.”
The Agreement, already vetted by NCAA experts according to Huma, can be used instead of the National Letter of Intent (“NLI”) or in conjunction with the NLI. The additional protections and benefits that Huma and the NCPA encourage student athletes to seek are:
- Guaranteed multi-year scholarships that cannot be terminated
- Summer school scholarships
- Degree completion scholarships to provide continued financial support to complete undergraduate degrees if athletic eligibility has expired
- Stipend and reimbursement money in excess of NCAA “full” scholarship coverage
- Medical expense coverage for 100% of all premiums and sports-related expenses, including deductibles and copays
- Transfer releases
- Disability Insurance
Tom Nevius, a former NCAA associate director of enforcement, has been serving as an advisor to Huma and the NCPA suggested,
“This has a chance to be successful if you find a coach or a school who is interested in bringing in a top prospect.”