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AB-1435 The College Athlete Protection Act.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 05/30/2017 12:32 PM
AB1435:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  May 30, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 01, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1435


Introduced by Assembly Member Gonzalez Fletcher

February 17, 2017


An act to add and repeal Chapter 15.8 (commencing with Section 67394) to of Part 40 of Division 5 of Title 3 of the Education Code, relating to student college athletes.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1435, as amended, Gonzalez Fletcher. The College Athlete Protection Act.
Existing law provides for a system of postsecondary education in this state. This system includes the University of California, administered by the Regents of the University of California, the California State University, administered by the Trustees of the California State University, the California Community Colleges, administered by the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, and independent institutions of higher education. Existing law further provides a Student Athlete Bill of Rights.
This bill would establish the College Athlete Protection Act, until January 1, 2023, under the administration of the College Athlete Protection Commission, which would be established by the bill, for the protection of college or university athletes participating in intercollegiate athletic programs offered by institutions of higher education located in California. The act would charge the commission with specified duties related to the protection of these athletes and would subject individuals who commit violations of the act to penalties, which may include civil penalties or a temporary or permanent prohibition from employment at institutions of higher education, pursuant to regulations to be adopted by the commission. The bill would make the provisions of the College Athlete Protection Act severable.
This bill would require institutions of higher education located in California with an intercollegiate athletic program affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association in 2016 to annually pay regulatory fees, as determined by the commission pursuant to prescribed requirements, to be deposited in the College Athlete Protection Act Fund, which this bill would establish, to be appropriated by the Legislature to the commission for the purposes of the College Athlete Protection Act.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Chapter 15.8 (commencing with Section 67394) is added to Part 40 of Division 5 of Title 3 of the Education Code, to read:
CHAPTER  15.8. The College Athlete Protection Act
Article  1. Title

67394.
 This chapter shall be known, and may be cited, as the College Athlete Protection Act.

Article  2. Findings

67394.1.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Maximizing safety, transparency, and a quality education for intercollegiate athletes should be a priority for intercollegiate sports programs, conferences, and associations, and the state.
(b) Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a serious and degenerative neurological disease, is linked to playing contact sports, including field hockey, football, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, and wrestling.
(c) Athletic governing authorities, including the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA), the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA), and the state need to work together to establish the best comprehensive standards to protect student college athletes from serious injuries.
(d) Athletic conferences and athletic associations should adopt comprehensive best practices to reduce the risk of CTE, hazards associated with the misuse of prescription painkillers, and other serious injuries.
(e) Intercollegiate sports programs, including coaches and team medical staff, should collaborate together for the benefit of a student college athlete’s overall well-being.
(f) A student college athlete faces intense pressure to return to play when he or she is injured. A proper oversight system and return-to-play protocols designed to ensure student college athlete safety provides protection for both athletes and athletic programs.
(g) Student sexual abuse is an important issue on college campuses, as evidenced by the United States Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights investigating claims of student sexual abuse at 120 campuses. At least 10 of the colleges investigated are located in California. Creating an independent state authority with the ability to address student college athlete abuse, including supporting a police inquiry and conducting an independent investigation, will help ensure perpetrators of student college athlete abuse are identified and held accountable.
(h) A 2015 study conducted by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) shows that student college athletes in Division I, Division II, and Division III NCAA athletic programs report increased time commitments to their collegiate sports, with football, baseball, and softball student college athletes documenting nearly 40 hours per week or more of in-season time commitments.
(i) A lack of uniform safeguards will continue to subject college athletes to higher risks of poor graduation rates, serious injury, and death.

Article  3. Definitions

67394.2.
 For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms have the following meanings:
(a) “Athletic association” means an association of athletic conferences or institutions of higher education.
(b) “Athletic conference” means an entity comprised of institutions of higher education that is a member of an athletic association.
(c) “Athletic program” means an intercollegiate athletic program at an institution of higher education. Club and intramural programs are excluded.
(d) “College athlete” means a college or university student who participates in an athletic program.
(e) “Commission” means the College Athlete Protection Commission established pursuant to Section 67394.3.
(f) “Institution of higher education” means, notwithstanding Section 67400, a campus of the University of California, the California State University, a four-year private university or independent institution of higher education located in California, or a public or private two-year college located in California that maintains an athletic program.
(g) “NCAA” means the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
(h) “Personnel” means one or more representatives of an athletic association, an athletic conference, or an institution of higher education, including an athletic program employee, coach, assistant, or affiliated health care professional.

Article  4. College Athlete Protection Commission

67394.3.
 (a) The College Athlete Protection Commission is hereby established as an independent entity within the Department of Consumer Affairs for the administration of this act.
(b) (1) The members of the commission shall be appointed as follows:
(A) Three members appointed by the Governor.
(B) Four members appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly.
(C) Four members appointed by the President pro Tempore of the Senate.
(2) (A) The commission members appointed pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be part-time positions. One member shall be appointed by majority vote of the members to serve as chairperson of the commission. All of the following areas of expertise, with no two members having the same expertise, shall be considered when appointing members:
(i) Sports medicine.
(ii) Traumatic brain injury in contact sports.
(iii) Athletic strength and conditioning training.
(iv) Athlete abuse.
(v) College academic advising.
(vi) College athletics governance and reform.
(vii) Sports economics.
(viii) Athlete protection advocacy by a former female college athlete.
(ix) Athlete protection advocacy by a former male college athlete.
(B) The commission shall hire and set compensation for, by majority vote of its members, an executive director. The executive director shall be a full-time position. The executive director shall hire additional commission staff to assist him or her and the commission during his or her term of office.
(C) Each commission member and the executive director shall be appointed to serve a four-year term of office, with no term limits. The member and the executive director may be reappointed to his or her position, or a new position, pursuant to this subdivision.
(D) No appointee pursuant to this subdivision shall have served as personnel within the one year immediately preceding his or her appointment.
(E) Personnel are not eligible to serve on the commission.
(F) Each member of the commission shall receive per diem and expenses as provided in Section 103 of the Business and Professions Code.
(3) The diversity of California, including its gender diversity, shall be considered when appointing commission members.

67394.4.
 (a) The commission shall have all of the following duties:
(1) Gather input from relevant stakeholders to establish, and disseminate to every athletic association, athletic conference, and institution of higher education, both of the following:
(A) Best practices to minimize injuries and ensure transparency of injury treatment options.
(B) Up-to-date information about pivotal sports-related health risks.
(2) Develop policy guidelines and mandates. These guidelines and mandates, at minimum, shall ensure that all of the following occurs:
(A) Medical records for all treatments of a student college athlete by personnel in the course of the student college athlete’s participation in an athletic program shall be maintained for a period of 10 years after the student college athlete leaves the program and shall be timely provided to him or her upon request.
(B) There is transparency on college athlete protections and the prevention of deceptive or fraudulent business practices that harm college athletes.
(3) Conduct surveys of college athletes and personnel.
(4) Perform compliance inspections as determined by the commission.
(5) Exercise subpoena power, if necessary, to obtain information necessary to carry out its duties under this chapter.
(6) Hold quarterly meetings.
(7) Distribute, commencing in 2021, on or before January 1 of each year, an annual report to each institution of higher education, athletic conference, and athletic association and to the Legislature, pursuant to Section 9795 of the Government Code, regarding the state of college athlete protections under this chapter.
(8) Determine which of its guidelines, materials, and other information may benefit high school athletes, high school sports programs, and the California Interscholastic Federation, and make them available and easily accessible to the public.
(9) Consider collaborative and cost-reduction efforts with other states, intercollegiate sports conferences, and associations that are not comprised of at least one institution of higher education, and higher education institutions with intercollegiate sports programs that are not located in California to improve the treatment of intercollegiate athletes in other states.
(10) Create advisory boards, as needed, comprised of unpaid volunteer individuals and organizations with expertise relevant to the implementation of this chapter.
(11) Use fees with legislative approval from the College Athlete Protection Act Fund, established in subdivision (e) of Section 67394.7, to execute its duties under this chapter.
(12) Develop processes for it to receive, track, and investigate complaints regarding suspected violations of this chapter.
(13) Issue penalties pursuant to Section 67394.6 and remedies for violations of this chapter, and pass all relevant information regarding its investigations to the appropriate athletic conferences.

(b)Until the commission receives fees pursuant to Section 67394.7, the commission shall only have the power to perform its functions under this chapter that do not incur costs to the commission.

(c)

(b) The commission shall adopt regulations to implement this chapter.

Article  5. College Athlete Protections

67394.5.
 (a) Individuals, including college athletes or other students, who report suspected violations of this chapter shall have whistleblower protection. Personnel who retaliate against these individuals shall be subject to penalties pursuant to Section 67394.6.
(b) Personnel who knowingly provide false information or attempt to obstruct an investigation by the commission of a violation of this chapter shall be subject to penalties pursuant to Section 67394.6.
(c) Personnel who reduce or cancel the athletic participation or eligibility of, impose a financial penalty or penalties on, or otherwise retaliate against, a college athlete, an institution of higher education, an athletic conference, or an athletic association, or other personnel for complying with this chapter shall be subject to penalties pursuant to Section 67394.6.
(d) (1) By January 1, 2020, personnel shall be deemed mandated reporters required to report each instance of reasonably suspected violations of this chapter to the commission. Personnel failing to comply with mandated reporting requirements shall be subject to penalties pursuant to Section 67394.6.
(2) All reports of suspected violations of this chapter before the commission commences its initial operations shall be made to the Department of Justice and directly forwarded by the department to the commission once it commences its initial operations.
(e) (1) By January 1, 2020, each institution of higher education, athletic conference, and athletic association shall comply with all of the following:
(A) Inform its personnel of their responsibilities and college athlete protections established by or pursuant to this chapter.
(B) Inform college athletes of their rights and protections under this chapter, including all guidelines and mandates adopted by the commission pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 67394.4, if any, and inform them of their right to report suspected violations of this chapter to a mandated reporter of their choice pursuant to subdivision (d), the Department of Justice, or the commission once it commences its initial operations.
(C) Designate at least one employee to oversee compliance with this chapter and to serve as a point of contact for the commission.
(2) Each institution of higher education, athletic conference, and athletic association shall annually inform its personnel and college athletes pursuant to subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (1) before the start of each academic year.

67394.6.
 (a) In addition to any other remedy or penalty authorized under existing law, an individual who commits a violation of this chapter shall be subject to penalties established pursuant to regulations adopted by the commission. Penalties may include any, or any combination, including all, of the following:
(1) Civil penalties.
(2) Temporary or permanent prohibition from employment at institutions of higher education.
(3) Other penalties imposed by the commission.
(b) The commission shall consider all of the following factors when establishing penalties for a violation of this chapter:
(1) The number and duration of violations.
(2) Whether the violation was the result of an intentional or negligent action.
(3) The nature and extent of harm caused by the violation.

Article  6. Financial Provisions

67394.7.
 (a) Institutions of higher education with athletic programs that were members of the NCAA in 2016 shall pay annual fees, in an amount determined by the commission pursuant to subdivision (b), to cover the reasonable regulatory costs of this chapter, not to exceed four million dollars ($4,000,000) in total, to be deposited into the Athlete Protection Act Fund established in subdivision (e).
(b) The commission shall base the annual fees described in subdivision (a) on the number of college athletes and coaches reported in the 2015–16 United States Department of Education’s Equity in Athletics Disclosure report. The commission shall establish the annual fees pursuant to all of the following requirements:
(1) Athletic programs of the same athletic conference with a combined average of 250 to 349, inclusive, student college athletes and 15 to 29, inclusive, coaches shall each pay annually up to a maximum of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000).
(2) Athletic programs of the same athletic conference with a combined average of 350 to 449, inclusive, student college athletes and 30 to 44, inclusive, coaches shall each pay annually up to a maximum of seventy-five thousand dollars ($75,000).
(3) Athletic programs of the same athletic conference with a combined average of 450 to 549, inclusive, student college athletes and 45 to 59, inclusive, coaches shall each pay annually up to a maximum of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).
(4) Athletic programs of the same athletic conference with a combined average of 550 or more total student college athletes and 60 or more coaches shall each pay annually up to a maximum of seven hundred fifty thousand dollars ($750,000).
(5) Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) to (4), inclusive, two-year institutions of higher education with one or more coaches shall each pay annually up to a maximum of one thousand dollars ($1,000).
(c) An institution of higher education with athletic programs and teams in more than one athletic conference shall be counted as a member of the athletic conference to which the majority of its college athletes belong. If an athletic program is not affiliated with an athletic conference, the program shall be treated as an independent athletic conference, with its number of student college athlete participants and coaches being treated as its combined conference numbers, for purposes of determining the amount of its annual fees.
(d) For the purposes of this section, a coach shall be a full-time employee of the institution.
(e) The College Athlete Protection Act Fund is hereby established in the State Treasury under the administration of the State Treasurer’s Public Finance Division. Fees received pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be deposited in the fund and appropriated by the Legislature to the commission for the purposes of this chapter.

Article  7. Miscellaneous

67394.8.
 (a) The provisions of this chapter are severable. If any provision of this chapter or its application is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.
(b) This chapter shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2023, and as of that date is repealed.