RCW: A Look Back 3.20
This week, let’s take A Look Back at a document produced by former track and field head coach, Bob Timmons. In 2002, Timmons authored “The NCAA: Who Protects Student-Athletes? A Proposal for a Student-Athletes’ Bill of Rights.” The 10 proposed rights covered within the 57-page document are as follows:
Each student-athlete shall have the right to:
- Participate in intercollegiate athletics at a member institution provided the athlete (a) has the talent to compete at the level desired by each team, (b) is in good standing with his or her school and team, (c) follows team, institution, conference, and NCAA rules and regulations, and (d) is academically eligible and otherwise qualified to participate and compete in NCAA-sanctioned events.
- Be governed by a penalty system that (a) protects a student-athlete’s participation opportunities if he or she is not charged with violations of NCAA rules, (b) requires every student-athlete to comply with the rules and policies of the NCAA and punishes those who violate its rules, (c) punishes guilty parties commensurate with the severity of the infractions and strives for consistency when penalties are needed, (d) does not impose institutional sanctions that deny participation opportunities for entire sports teams to participate in post-season competition when few or none of the student-athletes are charged with rules violations, and (e) is compatible where possible with the minimum due process standards of the Constitution of the United States.
- Be free from discrimination, including the right to receive benefits and privileges generally available to the institution’s students who do not participate in intercollegiate athletics.
- The establishment of national rules, regulations, and policies that protect the health and safety of the student-athlete, as well as athletic officials, athletic department personnel, and sport spectators.
- Four years of eligibility during a consecutive five-year calendar period. Student-athletes classified academically as “non-qualifiers” or “partial-qualifiers” shall be entitled to receive full reinstatement of their fourth year of eligibility if satisfactory progress toward graduation is made by the end of their fourth year of enrollment.
- NCAA review on a timely and regular basis the number of athletically related financial aid scholarships for student-athletes and an equitable across-the-board award system that is fair and consistent for the student-athletes who compete in each of the sports it sponsors.
- Work and receive earnings up to a full grant plus a reasonable, but limited, amount above that grant for the semester or term.
- NCAA rules and policies that apply fairly to every student-athlete – in all areas that concern their welfare and participation opportunities.
- A system of surveillance to deal with unfair rules and policies of coaches’ committees or appointed administrators controlling procedures at NCAA national championship or those of conferences affiliated with the Association as they relate to issues concerning the welfare and participation opportunities of student-athletes.
- Periodic reviews of all NCAA rules regarding student-athletes, and the elimination of those that would be held unfair or illegal if subjected to review under constitutional standards of the federal government.