Bonta Authors Bill to Protect College Athletes

Friday, February 16, 2018

(Sacramento, CA) – Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) introduced AB 2220, which will expand scholarship and academic protections to thousands of college athletes across California.

In 2012, the State Legislature made strides in protecting our college athletes by passing the Student Athlete Bill of Rights. The current law however, only protects college athletes at five universities in California.

AB 2220 will expand the Student Athlete Bill of Rights to all California schools that offer athletic scholarships. This bill will ensure that college athletes at over 40 schools across California are able to complete their studies even if they get injured.

“As a former college athlete, I understand the commitment our California students make every day to balance their academic curriculum and rigorous training regimens,” Bonta said. “We must ensure that California protects our college athletes and empowers them to be successful both in the classroom and on the field.”

Currently, most schools in California have the autonomy to determine whether to pay for an athlete’s medical expenses. Additionally, college athletes who get injured during practice or a game are not protected from losing their athletic scholarship.

AB 2220 will require institutions to pay the deductibles for college athletes who suffer sports-related injuries and for the cost of ongoing medical treatment for at least two years after a student has graduated or left the university. Further, AB 2220 will require schools provide an equivalent scholarship, if the student’s athletic scholarship is not renewed due to an injury.

“It is important for us to remember that student-athletes are students first and athletes second. Regardless of their performance on the field or any injury they may incur, our academic institutions should stand by them and encourage them to complete their academic degrees,” concluded Bonta.