In January of 2011, the Drake Group and the National College Players’ Association (NCPA) joined forces with CT State Representative Pat Dillon to pass the College Athletes Right to Know Act in Connecticut. This legislation which was first signed into law by California Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger, requires colleges and universities to publicly disclose, among other things, their policies regarding sport-related medical expenses and the renewal or cancelation of athletic scholarships.
According to Drake Group President, Allen Sack, as quoted in the Harford Courant, “it is difficult to overstate the demands that coaches make on players as a condition for the renewal of financial aid. Coaches ask athletes to change their diet and to change patterns of weight gain and loss. They demand that athletes alter their body mass and engage in high-stress aerobic and anaerobic training. They ask that athletes play with injury and that they think certain things and behave in certain ways, on and off the field. In some instances, these demands leave athletes in a chronic state of sleep deprivation.”
Athletes in some sports face serious injury daily, generate millions of dollars and give coaches control over their lives in ways that would be unimaginable in any other extracurricular activity. For this reason, colleges and universities have a moral obligation to let prospective college athletes and their parents know what they are getting into. California now requires schools to make public their policies regarding sports-related medical treatment, for scholarship renewals and out-of-pocket expenses that athletes on “full” scholarships are expected to pay.
The Connecticut bill, which was passed in January 2012 was sponsored by Connecticut State Representative Pat Dillon, Ramogi Huma, Director of the NCPA, and the Drake Group. It requires institutions to provide a link titled “Student-Athletes’ Right to Know” on their athletic websites. Clicking on this link immediately reveals the college’s scholarship and other compensation practices. Passing this bill makes Connecticut the second state in the country that can not only brag about its collegiate athletic teams, but provide total transparency on the benefits and protections it provides for athletes. The Drake Group is currently doing research to see if all Connecticut schools are in compliance.