NCAA Says It Has No Obligation To Protect Student Athletes


Despite it’s founding principles to protect young people from dangerous and exploitive athletics practices, in a recent court filing, the NCAA has declared that it has no obligation to protect student athletes according to CBS Sports.

“The NCAA denies that it has a legal duty to protect student-athletes,” the court filing stated, which was obtained by The Washington Times. “But [the NCAA] admits that it was ‘founded to protect young people from the dangerous and exploitative athletic practices of the time.’

The court filing was a response to a wrongful death lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Derek Sheely, a former football player at Frostburg State who died after sustaining a fatal head injury during practice in the summer of 2011.

Sheely’s family sued the NCAA, the helmet manufacturer, and three Frostburg State football coaches claiming “utter incompetence, egregious misconduct, false hope and a reckless disregard for player healthy and safety,” according to The Washington Times. The suit also claims that Sheely was told by his running back coach Jamie Schumacher to “stop your bitching and moaning and quit acting like a pussy and get back out there!” Sheely was allegedly permitted to return to an Oklahoma style drill despite bleeding “profusely”.

According to the 30-page document, “The NCAA denies that it has a legal duty to protect student-athletes, but affirmatively states that under the NCAA Constitution each member institution is responsible for protecting the health of its student-athletes, and that for decades it had provided appropriate information and guidance on concussions to its member institutions.”

It is true that the NCAA revised its rulebook in 2010, adding that each school must create a policy to handle the growing rate of concussions. This is a very unfortunate situation for all parties involved.