While Bruin legend Ed O is leading a landmark lawsuit against the NCAA, another former Bruin is on the verge of achieving a key legislative victory in California re. organizing student athletes, that will have ramifications across the country (emphasis added):
LOS ANGELES — Led by a former UCLA linebacker, college athletes are demanding more from their schools in exchange for the long hours they put in and are poised for perhaps their biggest victory yet.
On Wednesday, the California Assembly passed a sweeping proposal that calls for schools to provide recruits a written summary of their schools' policies on everything from medical insurance limits to athlete transfer rates and scholarship renewals, all within a week of contact. The Student-Athletes' Right to Know Act now heads to the state Senate.
The legislation is backed by the National College Players Association, a Los Angeles-based organization headed by former Bruin Ramogi Huma that has grown to 14,000 members, thanks to the rise of social media and an Internet-driven recruitment strategy. About half the members are current athletes, representing 150 Division I programs.
Their activism cuts to the core of a debate that has roiled college sports since the NCAA was created more than a century ago: Is a mostly free education sufficient compensation for a commitment to athletics or do students who generate millions for their schools and coaches deserve more — from "pay for play" compensation to more basic legal protections in the workplace?
When Huma first tried to organize college athletes more than a decade ago, he found skeptics at every turn.
His coaches questioned what a Pac-10 scholarship football player could possibly complain about. The NCAA, he says, refused to talk and many athletes were hesitant to take their concerns public.
But from an office park in Riverside County, Huma has built a sizable network of current and former athletes, state lawmakers, academic reformers and union activists (the United Steelworkers Union helped subsidize the group early on and continues to hold annual fundraisers). Rather than negotiate with the NCAA, they target lawmakers to force changes.
You can read rest of the piece here. Congrats to Ramogi.
As always it's a Bruin taking leadership roles for positive social change.