According to a report from CBS Sports, the Pac-12 Conference is looking to make progress towards taking care of its players’ medical needs for injuries that were suffered during their playing days.
There is still a long way to go for the Pac-12 to cover medical costs, but they are attempting to make a positive step forward this fall.
According to the report, “Pac-12 schools must provide direct medical expenses for at least four years following the athlete’s graduation or separation from the university, or until the athlete turns 26 years old, whichever occurs first. The timeframe for coverage was chosen in part because by the age of 26 a person is covered by the Affordable Care Act.”
Each school would be responsible for their own policies.
Of course, the difficulty will be determining what is a medical issue relating to an injury suffered during college and what is a new injury? Those are guidelines that will need to be determined and it is a big hurdle in any progress towards medical care for the student-athletes.
One way to monitor the issues would be with exit-medicals following the end of a college career which could determine what policies each athlete has available to them.
Even then, you would need to insure the athletes are being honest after their careers end.
“The hard part of what we do in college athletics is if the kid tells you the truth (on how he got injured), they might invalidate your coverage,” Arizona athletic trainer Randy Cohen said. “Does the kid say, ‘I played pickup basketball and reinjured it,’ or do you have a kid who lies and says, ‘No, I didn’t do anything, it just started hurting.’ So do you encourage them to lie to you?
“We want to do the right thing. It’s complicated.”
So while it is great to see the positive steps forward and the willingness to continue treating athletes after school, there is a long way to go and plenty of details to be worked out before any ruile could be passed.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports