Earlier today, Alex Marvez of FOX reported that South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is seeking $5 million in insurance via a private broker. But as one source with knowledge of the process explains it to PFT, the NCAA already has a program in place that makes $5 million in insurance available to players who may need it.
Per the source, the premium is roughly $40,000 for a year, and the NCAA will finance the amount at a low interest rate. Lower amounts of insurance are available at smaller premiums, based on a player’s projected pro prospects.
The policy that the NCAA makes available pays out only for a career-ending injury. Which, in the case of Clowney, makes $5 million a drop in the bucket in comparison to what he could earn over a full pro career.
Other insurance could be purchased privately, but without NCAA assistance. Lloyd’s of London makes a “loss of status” policy available based on an injury that causes the player to be drafted lower than expected. Those policies are more expensive and often result in litigation, since there often are multiple potential causes for a drop in draft stock.
So if the NCAA makes available insurance that covers only career-ending injuries, why should the players have to pay for it? At a time when NCAA-member institutions are generating millions from the labor and physical risks of players who get in return a “free education” that, frankly, costs the schools a lot less to give than it would cost the students to purchase, the players who are projected to have professional careers should get this protection automatically, and the NCAA should allow the schools to provide it.
Of course, it could be difficult to determine who will and won’t qualify for coverage, and for how much. Of all the bureaucracies that the NCAA has spawned, however, this would be one of the more worthwhile. And in a case like Clowney’s, however, it’s clear that the answer would be “all of it.”