National Meeting – 2021

COIA 2021 Presentation Recordings & Powerpoints


Summary of Items discussed at the 18th Annual Meeting of the Coalition of Intercollegiate Athletics (COIA). 

COIA is one of only two national faculty senate associations.

Virtual Meeting (February 19 – 20, 2021)

Essential Takeaways (to be vetted by SC):

  1. Athletics departments and universities must be intentional about recruiting and retaining diverse talent, especially in the positions of student athletic trainer and academic counselor.
  2. Faculty should engage with athletic health care providers regarding student athletes’ behavioral (mental) health.
  3. Faculty senates should demand transparency regarding special admits. Ensure that not all special admits are in athletics. Tenured faculty should recommend special admits after a solid review process.
  4. Resolution to NIL is coming this summer after SCOTUS rules in the Alston case.

Friday, February 19, 2021

1:00 p.m. (Jason Mihalik – NCAA CARE Consortium and Policy Change)

Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussion Research

In 2010, the media made public evidence related to concussion research.

Do helmets prevent concussions?  Research shows:

  • 29% reduction in head injury risk among skiers/snowboarders.
  • Football helmets worn reduced head injury rate.
  • Inadequate helmet fit associated with increased symptom severity.
  • Mouthguards are effective in reducing maxillofacial and dental trauma and should be worn for that reason.
  • Prevention and treatment related to concussion injuries are important.
  • Football head-related fatalities are reduced because helmets are meeting the standards for preventing concussions.

Note:  At this time, no standard exists for helmets for children.

  • Concussion is a multi faceted condition and can overlap with others like heat stroke that can lead to sudden death.  
  • Concussed students are at higher risk for other injuries and for psychological issues. 
  • NCAA kick- off rule has been changed and there has been a 42% reduction in concussions.  
  • Regarding brain degeneration, CTE is identified in a small percent of NFL players.  It’s from exposure, repetition.  It’s possible CTE occurs in a small number of college athletes. 

2:00 p.m. (Val Ackerman – NCAA Speaker – NIL and Legislative Changes)

The timetable for approving NIL is uncertain.  NIL will happen in a form to be determined after the legislative issues are determined.

Six states have passed NIL approval bills and 30+ states have pre-filed NIL bills.

May 2019 – Jean Smith and Val Ackerman were selected to serve on a NIL working group.  This report was submitted April 2020.

On the NCAA website, this information is posted.

  • 3.5M dollars in scholarship awards.
  • Thirty page framework designed and published.
  • Legislative solution group has provided NIL guidelines related to recruitment of athletics. 
  • High school athletics can select Division I universities they want to attend.
  • Degree completion and academic standing are important.
  • NIL transactions must be transparent.
  • Tutors and advisors can be hired.
  • NIL disconnects universities and payments are not provided by universities.

Additional points: 

  • NIL, the ability of student athletes to commercialize, is a matter of when, not if.  It’s a new frontier. 
  • In January 2021 the NCAA tabled or deferred the package.  It is awaiting the SCOTUS court ruling in the Alston case. More than 30 states have pre-filed their own NIL bills. There is a possibility of a patchwork of state laws. 
  • The NCAA must account for our schools recruiting and transfer of athletes.  They must maintain a level of integrity and academic achievement. The NCAA must mitigate the harmful involvement of boosters and others. 
  • Third parties will pay under the NCAA model. The NCAA must safeguard the non-employee status of student athletes. 
  • Some of the basics around the proposed NCAA NIL model: student athlete commercialization would look like current non student athlete model.  They could produce or endorse. Producing might include: start-ups, books, TV, modeling, lessons, camps and being influencers. 
  • Students must disclose all NIL arrangements and can hire third parties.  Schools provide baseline programming for student athlete NILs. Beyond that, schools are not involved and booster activity is restricted. The Drake Group and Knight Commission have proposed creation of a third-party entity to monitor NIL activity instead of each university doing its own monitoring.  The NCAA working group thinks the idea has merit.   
  • On the plus side, NIL represents an expansion of benefits for students; brings educational experiences for student athletes to be business entrepreneurs and learn to be responsible regarding filing requirements, entering into contracts etc.  
  • At the same time, NIL should never be at the expense of coursework.  Students can’t miss class for NIL activities. 

Question: How is NIL not pay for play? Answer: Universities are not paying.  Payments come from third parties. Students are still amateurs earning degrees.  The quid pro quo is still their tuition.  

Question: Explain the anti-trust issue.  It revolves around the NCAA having capped what student athletes can receive.  The Alston case is looking for a pay for play model. But the NCAA considers the college model to be unique and very important to the public.  The NCAA is trying to manage concerns around NIL but be open and flexible. Problem: States are enacting their own NIL laws now.

Question: What about our women athletes. Is NIL going to be an exploitative experience. No, currently women are the big influencers.  Cheerleaders, not under the NCAA umbrella, are now big influencers. 

3:00 p.m. (Brian Hainline, MD – Independent Medical Care)

Comments on Covid:

  • The NCAA has the largest Covid cardiac database in the world. Hainline is not sure there’s a true myocarditis. The NCAA protocols have been strict. The rest of society should be doing what NCAA has done regarding socialization. The NCAA mandated how to return to practice and play. 
  • There is a Covid hotline to report issues. 1000 cases have been reported and 95% have been resolved. 
  • An athletes’ bill of rights is around the corner.  
  • If an athlete decided to not play because of various health reasons related to COVID-19, the scholarship and position could not be removed.Hainline’s idea is to expand the idea of a Covid hotline to cover mental health, concussions, independent medical care and catastrophic injury. 

On Concussion Safety: 

  • Concussion legislation required that each Division I university develop a policy related to concussion control.
  • Trainers are important and should be used by Division I athletic programs.
  • An explanation was made to define primary and independent health care providers used by athletics.
  • The culture of the university and the athletics department is the single most important factor in independent medical care. 
  • Regarding mental health, a survey Mental Health in the Age of Covid yesterday reported on cultural issues in mental health for athletes and athletes of color especially the black male athlete which should become the basis for a new statement on mental health that prompts best practices and an initiative to develop a career path for the black male athlete to go into medicine.  
  • It is important for faculty to engage with athletes’ healthcare providers regarding the mental health of students and engage with their FARS on student mental health.  

Question regarding coaches and masks. Answer: The NCAA has given input to the coaches to follow the CDC guidelines regarding what type of a mask to wear. 

Tory Lindley (Independent Medical Care)

  • Applying legislation across the divisions and conferences is difficult. Medical autonomy is important. Currently schools must identify a healthcare administrator. 
  • Student athletes and their sports programs should provide:  a team physician, an orthopedist, and athletic trainer/s, a physiotherapist, a dietitian, a sports psychologist, a strength and conditioning specialist, an equipment specialist, a neurologist and a neuropsychologist. 
  • There should be peer to peer evaluations conducted of trainers.
  • A medical director is important.
  • When asked if there is an IRB process used, the response was Yes.
  •  The thorniest issue  is regarding strength and conditioning specialists and also sports dietitians who report to the coach.  Reporting to the coach can jeopardize student athlete health and safety.  They should be reporting to athletic trainers or team physicians.  Decisions must be medical.  
  • Student athlete care should be housed in student health services or in a hospital system such as at UNC, Northwestern, Kansas and Rutgers, with a budget outside of the athletic department. 

4:00 p.m. (Dr. Ginger Gilmore-Childress – Behavioral Health Support for the Student Athlete)

  • Provided warning signs of mental health issues.
  • Trainers should notice struggles and should serve as good gatekeepers to identify mental struggles (depression, anxiety, depressive traits, and suicidal issues).
  • A Primary Care Behavioral Health Model integrated should include the behavioral health clinician.
  • There should be an emergency referral process and a non-emergency referral process.
  • There should be assistance in helping athletics in developing wellness and coping skills to assist with functioning from day to day with activities.
  • There should be screening tools such as questionnaires and self-assessments to use to assess student athletics’ mental capacity that is then shared with a mental health professional.
  • The term “behavioral health” may have less stigma than “mental health.” 
  • It’s important to integrate behavioral and physical care. UA is engaged in teaching self-care, coping skills and mindfulness.  Used the SSI/MH as a roadmap.  
  • Faculty should show students we care, ask what’s going on and partner with behavioral health providers. 

Saturday, February 20, 2021

1:00 p.m. (James [Jessie] Williams – Professional Development for Student-Athletes)

An illustration of Holistic Development for the athlete was provided.

A description of his implementation of mindfulness was provided.

  • Start with a minute of mediation.
  • Provide a quote or a reflection.
  • Provide conscious instruction and provide a focus and pause.
  • Explain the end in mind.
  • Provide the WHIP.
  • Provide intentional homework.

Presented ideas faculty can provide to assist the athlete to have a mindset to accept life and life’s challenges.

2:00 p.m. (Donna Lopiano, Drake Group– Congressional Intervention in College Athletics Reform: NIL, Athletes’ Rights, Gambling and other Issues)

  • The Drake group has given up on the NCAA which has become a trade association for athletic directors with its onerous amateur status rules. The Drakes are focusing all of their efforts on Congress. 
  • Congress has floundered in the last four years meanwhile California passed its own NIL bill.  Currently, 37 states have NIL legislation in the works, and six have already adopted legislation similar to California’s.  
  • The NCAA wants Congress to give them an anti-trust exemption so student athletes can’t sue them anymore.  These lawsuits have cost the NCAA 50 or $60 million. Senator Rubio‘s bill would give the NCAA anti-trust exemption .  
  • The Booker/Blumenthal bill is closest to the Drake group stances. For example athletic departments won’t be able to run athletic Academic support.  Another proposal in the bill is that a certain percentage of athletic department revenue must go to a national athletic medical trust. The threshold is $20 million. Lower than $20 million would pay a certain percent into the fund; above $20 million would pay a higher percentage into the fund. There’s nothing now to cover long-term disability. All policies end two years after an injury. An athletes’ medical trust is a central Drake plank.  
  • The NCAA called off its NIL legislation waiting for Supreme Court decision in the Alston case.  Alston involved the ninth circuit court saying that schools could limit what they give student athletes but could not cap any education-related expense. Will undercut the NCAA’s control of the value of athletic scholarships. 
  • Another plank in the Booker/ Blumenthal bill is distributing royalties to players in sports that generate revenue. This is concerning to Drakes, as universities will have to step in to subsidize coaches’ long-term contracts, 20 years bonds to build facilities, etc. 
  • Question: will companies end sponsorship contracts with schools and shift to students?  Answer: No, with NIL student athletes will be influencers on the Internet, but a company like Nike will still seek contracts with schools because they give Nike exposure on TV. The NCAA is hoping SCOTUS will reinforce the amateur status rules.  The decision will come down in June. The NCAA will then go to court against the states (and a patchwork of rules) and they have a good case. Then Congress will play their card. 
  • Drakes are concerned about Booker/Blumenthal undermining student athlete-university relationship.  Drake Group is against the compensation with royalties for students. But in favor of a fund for academics and for student athlete long-term health insurance. The Drakes are working with Congress to improve the educational outcomes. 
  • It’s crucial to examine special admits processes at our schools.  They are rife with fraud which sets off all academic fraud.  In D1 FBS football players 40% do not graduate.  They make up 80 to 90% of special admits.  Regarding the special admit issue, transparency is essential. Faculty senates should demand it.  Ask what the numbers are and what programs receive special admits.  Special admits are fine but not all should be for athletes.  Tenured faculty should have to recommend special admits and grill athletic departments and coaches about their plan to get the students to graduation. The decision should be in the hands of faculty and there should be a solid review process. NCAA could make a policy like this but does not govern because it does not want to. The NCAA could also make policy about limiting contact in football but they don’t want the liability. 
  •  Drakes also question if the 60% who do graduate get a meaningful education. These are all predominantly black basketball and football players and the NCAA is an enabler of the situation by manipulating graduation rates. Lopiano stressed that some resolution regarding NIL is coming. The pro leagues have responded with developmental leagues: now the NBA will pay $150,000 a year for prospects to play there.
  • COIA can carry weight and be more sophisticated about dealing with Congress.  COIA can represent the faculty at all of our institutions. 

3:00 p.m. (Beth Howard– Title IX Training for the Student Athlete

  • Described Title IX work at University of Alabama.  
  • Sexual misconduct in athletics will be in the news.  
  • The environment is litigious. 

4:00 p.m. (Toni Torres-Mcgehee — Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice in Athletics)

  • There is a need for intercultural agility.  
  • Universities must be intentional in recruiting and retaining diverse talent and have action, advocacy and accountability. 

Post-meeting Discussion

Some discussion ensued in the group about the need to enforce class time and class attendance after NIL and about current policies regarding the hiring of agents in college basketball.

COIA Steering Committee Business Meeting to be held on March 4, 2021 at 1:30 p.m. CST.

Meeting adjourned at 5:15 p.m. CST.

Respectfully submitted,

Jane Albrecht, with Laveria Hutchison