It is common knowledge that top-tier college football is immensely popular, and obviously generates a significant cash flow.
Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are individuals, and indeed entire sectors of business, that rush in to get a piece of this action. Unfortunately, some of these people vying for access to the football industry are lacking in scruples.
Bryan Fisher is a self-described reformer who represents players with claims against insurance companies. While his professional background focuses on offering legal advice to players who have claims against insurance companies, he mostly sees himself as a moral crusader trying to protect these college athletes.
One of the problems that stands in the way of players receiving adequate insurance coverage to protect them against a career-ending injury is that the market is flooded with under-qualified yet overly-eager salespeople. Most states require surprisingly few credentials to become a sales agent, and therefore the overall industry suffers alongside the players who are left with inadequate or misleading coverage.
According to Fisher, even after you find a fully qualified agent, perhaps the most important term to identify in a policy is what exactly would trigger a payout. In this regard, not all policies are created equally, with some having baked-in clauses that make it incredibly unlikely to ever see the full-blown payout the player was expecting. In the twenty-six years that the NCAA has been sponsoring Exceptional Student-Athlete Disability Insurance, fewer than a dozen athletes have successfully collected on this policy, according to Juanita Sheely, the NCAA’s director of travel and insurance.
It will be interesting to see if any regulations will eventually enter this corner of the market, or if these rising star athletes will continue to be exploited. With schools often appearing to direct their students to commission-hungry insurance agents placing odds on next year’s NFL draft choices like back-room bookies, it pays to not only be able to run a ball, but to read the fine print as well.
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Leonard Fournette’s $10M policies and the unregulated world of player protection | CBS Sports