The Drake Group supports detailed written agreements between the institution and college athletes with regard to athletic scholarships or other benefits. We believe college athletes need to be fully informed of benefits provided as well as expenses not covered by the institution, especially with regard to athletic-injury insurance and medical expenses that exceed the normal two-year limit of such policies. Further, we believe that the rights of college athletes to transfer to another institution without an athletic eligibility penalty, among other rights, should be documented in such an agreement. However, care must be taken to ensure that the benefits and values proposed in this sample agreement violate neither NCAA rules nor federal Title IX provisions. The Drake Group has not yet evaluated the proposed agreement with regard to these cautions.
The CAP Agreement includes language that can be amenable to everyone involved in college sports. Greater athlete rights in areas such as freedom to transfer, selection of educational programs and lessening time demands are just a few of the issues The Drake Group has supported in the past. Much of this platform is also covered in the proposed congressional bill HR 2731 which is fully supported by TDG. Our position papers on this and many other topics can be found at www.thedrakegroup.org. Also TDG members Drs. Gerry Gurney, Donna Lopiano and Andy Zimbalist mention many of these common sense changes in their book Unwinding Madness; What Went Wrong with College Sports and How to Fix It.
These ideas are not new, and it is puzzling why they have not already been enacted. They would change nothing except the power structure and provide the athlete, who is the front porch and primary institutional advancement tool of the institution their basic and needed rights. Changes like this should be celebrated and not minimized. The Drake Group sees the present time as a real opportunity for presidents and chancellors to do something that clearly benefits athlete rights and makes the system more balanced for all parties.