IU Announces Student-Athlete Bill of Rights

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana University Vice President and Director of Athletics Fred Glass today unveiled the Indiana University Student-Athlete Bill of Rights, a groundbreaking, 10-point document that sets forth the University’s commitment to student-athletes during their time at IU and beyond.  A first-of-its-kind document, the Student-Athlete Bill of Rights expands and describes the University’s

commitments to its student-athletes in all phases of student-athlete well-being and development.  It comprehensively addresses subjects as wide ranging as post-eligibility degree support; scholarship commitment; academic, athletic, leadership and lifeskills development; and career assistance; safety and medical care; meals and nutritional guidance; ensuring a culture of trust and respect; and collective student-athlete involvement within the athletics department.

“For all of its nearly 200 years, Indiana University has been a higher education leader in teaching, research, academic freedom and international engagement, as well as athletics including producing the first African American to be drafted into pro football and breaking the Big Ten’s color barrier in men’s basketball,” observed Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie. “That visionary leadership continues with today’s publication of the first ever Student-Athlete Bill of Rights.”

“We are proud to be the first higher education institution ever to publish a Student-Athlete Bill of Rights,” said Fred Glass Indiana University Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. “We developed the Bill of Rights to identify not only what we were currently doing for our student-athletes but what we should be doing.   We have committed to this extensive set of benefits and set it out transparently in writing, so that we can be held accountable for them by our student-athletes and other stakeholders such as our faculty and trustees. While no other school has done this, we hope that others will follow for the betterment of the student-athlete experience.”

A central feature of the Bill of Rights is the Lifetime Degree Guarantee. Under the “Hoosiers for Life” program, Indiana University will pay the tuition (plus books and fees) for an IU undergraduate degree for any scholarship student-athlete who leaves school early to tend to a family emergency, pursue a professional athletics career, or for any other reason. This program is open to any former student-athlete who was eligible for at least two seasons, left IU in good standing, did not transfer, and is readmitted under university rules. IU Athletics gratefully acknowledges the critical role of IU Professor of Practice Robby Benson in the conception and development of “Hoosiers for Life”.

IU Athletics is also making a Four Year Scholarship Commitment to every full head count scholarship student-athlete regardless of sport entering Indiana University to ensure that they have the time needed to earn an undergraduate degree. No athletic scholarship will be reduced because of injury, illness, physical or mental condition, or on the basis of a student-athlete’s ability, performance or contribution to the team’s success. While four year scholarships were made permissible by the NCAA in 2011, most member schools have only selectively provided them.

Indiana University believes student-athletes should have a formal Collective Voice in the administration of intercollegiate athletics. Through the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, student-athletes will be annually provided by the Athletics Director a report of the department just like that given to the Board of Trustees and Bloomington Faculty Council, have a chance each semester to meet with the Athletics Director to ask questions and share concerns, as well as have permanent representation on the Bloomington Faculty Council Athletics Committee. Student-athletes will also be represented on any search or advisory committees for the hiring of a head coach or athletics director. Indiana University also commits to develop its student-athletes in A Culture of Trust and Respect, with no physical or verbal abusive demeaning language being tolerated.

Under the Student-Athlete Bill of Rights, IU student-athletes will also have access to cutting edge technology, including every student-athlete being supplied an iPad, along with additional benefits such as official IU Athletics blazers and internal internship opportunities.

“The Student-Athlete Bill of Rights sends a profound message to IU student-athletes that our school values our voices, our education, the quality of our experience while at IU, and what we do long after our playing days are over,” said SAAC President and Field Hockey player Nicole Volgraf. “We are thrilled that our administration included us in the process of creating the Bill of Rights, and on a personal note, it was great that we got to pick out the iPads.”

The Comprehensive Health Safety and Wellness of student-athletes are of paramount importance to Indiana University. Every incoming student-athlete is provided, without charge, a comprehensive physical medical exam before beginning practice or competition, including a CBC blood test, sickle cell test, screening echocardiogram, concussion baseline test, and the like. While at IU the department provides medical, dental, vision, psychological, rehabilitation, and related necessary health care services for any injuries or illnesses relating to their participation in intercollegiate athletics at no cost to the student-athlete or his or her family. IU has a certified athletic trainer and/or medical doctor available for every team practice and competition. Two full-time certified sports nutritionists provide individual and team based nutrition wellness support and education and oversee a full Training Table available to all student athletes plus nutrition centers of meals and snacks available throughout the day, all conveniently served on the athletics campus

Indiana University Athletics provides its student-athletes with Comprehensive Academic Support. With the assistance of a university academic advisor, student-athletes choose their own course of study and have full access to the D. Ames Shuel Academic Center. Student-athletes have free access to tutors, mentors, study planning, study tables, personality assessments, major and career development programing, learning assessments and services, disability support services, and the like.

“IU Athletics has a proud tradition of academic and athletic excellence,” said Faculty Athletics Representative Dr. Kurt Zorn.  “The groundbreaking Student-Athlete Bill of Rights codifies Indiana University’s extraordinary commitment to producing outstanding students, athletes, and citizens.”

Student-athletes at Indiana University also have the opportunity to take part in Comprehensive Leadership and Life Skills Development including the Indiana University Excellence Academy Speaker Series, the Indiana University Excellence Academy Internship Program, specialized social media training, and other programming. In addition, the Indiana University Excellence AcademyCareer Counseling and Placement Center helps to prepare student-athletes to transition to the next phase of their lives, including successfully pursuing post college employment. The Center can also be utilized by former student-athletes as may be needed during their careers after graduation

The Bill of Rights also commits to providing Indiana University Student-Athletes additional benefits once doing so is authorized by the NCAA. Specifically, IU will provide as part of their scholarships a miscellaneous expense allowance to cover the full cost of college attendance and will institute “dead periods” to provide student-athletes with more time outside athletics once these become permissible under NCAA rules.

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