New College Athlete Protection Guarantee contract unveiled at U.Va.
Legally binding contract may be used with National Letters of Intent to secure scholarship money, medical reimbursement
The National College Players Association announced a proposed new contract between student athletes and colleges and universities today at the National Basketball Players Association Top 100 Camp hosted at the University.
The contract, known as the College Athlete Protection Guarantee, will allow students to request benefits and protections from colleges and universities in written, legally-binding form. This type of contract currently does not exist.
The NCPA is an organization that seeks to change NCAA rules that restrict protections and benefits for student athletes and ensure college athletes are treated fairly under NCAA rules. NCPA Executive Director Ramogi Huma said in an interview with the Cavalier Daily there are a number of benefits and protections available to college athletes that they and their families are unaware of. The CAP Guarantee seeks to inform all parties.
“There’s a lack of information, so with the contract there’s two things,” Huma said. “One, it informs the recruits and their parents as to very important benefits and protections, and two, it serves as a tool to secure legally binding protections.”
Currently, student athletes sign a National Letter of Intent which binds the student to the college they are signing with. The letter, however, does not guarantee any verbal assurances — such as scholarship money, disability insurance or reimbursement money — given to the recruit by a coach or representative of the school.
“We want to make sure the players actually are able to secure whatever the promises are from the school … In writing on national signing day,” Huma said.
The CAP Guarantee allows athletes to request specific, written assurances from a college or university including financial aid, medical expenses, degree completion financial aid and transfer releases.
According to Huma, the CAP Guarantee can either be used in place of the National Letter of Intent or can work in conjunction. The language in the CAP Guarantee describes it as the controlling document over the NLI if there are any discrepancies, Huma said.
However, the NCPA is still encouraging recruits to sign the CAP Guarantee first in order to receive an official university signature on the binding document before signing the NLI.
“They might be vulnerable if they send in a signed letter of intent and signed CAP Guarantee but the University only signs the Letter of Intent on that day,” Huma said. “Now the University has their eligibility but they haven’t given any assurances.”
The CAP Guarantee is only in its beginning stages, however, and still needs to be reviewed by organizations within the NCAA.
“We’re a long way away from it being put into any kind of format that might get some level of legislative review by the membership,” Virginia Athletics Director Craig Littlepage said in an interview with The Cavalier Daily. “There will be a lot of debate about this before anything gets voted on in any way shape or form.”
Littlepage said the Top 100 camp held at the University is a high-profile setting for the unveiling of the CAP Guarantee. The camp, which is held every year at the University, attracts the top prospective college basketball players in the nation and gains a lot of media and NCAA attention.
“This will be talked about within conference memberships and other organizations within the NCAA over the coming months but we’re not anywhere near knowing what the final form might look like,” Littlepage said.
According to Littlepage, the CAP Guarantee will likely be subject to a lot of discussion and revision before moving to the next step.
“They’ve proposed a number of different ideas, some of which will gain some acceptance, some of which won’t gain acceptance for any number of different reasons,” Littlepage said. “We’re looking at months if not longer before anything is even put into a legislative form that people can really sink their teeth in and begin to talk about the feasibility.”
A copy of the contract obtained by CBS Sports can be found here.