Author alters bill to aid student athletes at four major universities in California

Published: Friday, Jul. 6, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 4A
Last Modified: Sunday, Jul. 8, 2012 - 12:19 pm

A Democratic state senator has watered down his legislation aimed at improving the treatment of student athletes at four California universities.

Sen. Alex Padilla of Los Angeles agreed to amend Senate Bill 1525 amid opposition from Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA and USC.

The bill now requires the four schools to continue scholarships for injured athletes and athletes who have exhausted their athletic eligibility but have not finished their degree. The schools would also have to pay for health insurance for low-income individuals and tell a student athlete within seven days whether it will grant the athlete's request to speak to another school about transferring.

Previous versions of the measure required the four schools to give equivalent scholarships to all athletes whose scholarships weren't renewed for nondisciplinary reasons, including those dropped for athletic performance reasons.

The earlier version of Padilla's bill also would have required the schools to allow athletes to transfer to other schools without restrictions, including the rule that they sit out a year before competing.

Padilla said his bill, despite the changes, would have a positive affect.

"At the end of the day, if it's part of what helps a bill to advance through the Legislature and get signed by the governor, it's still, the bill as a whole, is tremendous progress for student athletes in the state," Padilla said.

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