The Russell Report: Changes in NCAA is making

Published: Jul. 1, 2019 at 6:46 PM EDT
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We have made it to July, and that means gator football practice starts in just over three weeks, but until then, there's some nice under the radar things going on I think you need to know about.

The NCAA has seen the transfer portal situation go in directions no one dreamed possible, so here comes change. Now, schools must prove an athlete's transfer is due to documented extenuating, extraordinary and mitigating circumstances outside the student athlete's control. It used to be only for documented, mitigating circumstances. Athletic director's from the athlete's original institution must now give a statement as to why the athlete wants to transfer. Clearly, it won't be as easy for athletes to transfer.

The NCAA is lobbying hard for a vote not to be taken on California's Fair Pay to Play Act now in its legislature. If passed, it would allow California athletes to profit from the use of their names, images and likenesses. The NCAA wants to postpone the vote, so member schools can study the issue, saying the law would create an unfair advantage for only California schools to have this in place for their athletes. If nothing else, maybe this will get the NCAA off its behind to pass national legislation for something that should have been done a long time ago.

Finally, the National Athletic Trainer's Association published a report stating that nearly 20-percent of college coaches played an athlete deemed medically out of participation. This comes three years after the NCAA passed legislation specifically stopping coaches and athletic directors from influencing medical decisions. Maybe its time to do what Kansas is doing by taking strength and conditioning coaches, and perhaps athletic trainers, away from athletic staff supervision to supervision only by trained medical people. This way, decisions about an athlete playing are not influenced by a coach or trainer. Sounds like a good idea.

"Sports Scene with Steve Russell" airs Monday through Friday on ESPN 98.1 FM and AM 850 WRUF.