Abuse and Mistreatment of Athletes at US Universities: Legal Implications for Institutional Duty-to-Protect
Forthcoming, Texas Review of Entertainment & Sports Law, Spring/Fall 2020
55 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2019
Date Written: December 2, 2019
The recent spate of high-profile cases detailing abuse, mistreatment, and catastrophic injuries, suffered by college athletes have raised concerns regarding their well-being and the quality of care they receive. Post-hoc investigations have often followed in such cases, in an attempt to determine the cause and what preventive actions could have been taken. With disturbing regularity, such investigations have uncovered institutional dereliction of duty to protect and failure to prevent continued misconduct by those with the ability and opportunity to do so. This study presents a documentary investigation into issues college athletes raised during their exit interviews at one university in the United States. This study details the communication chain from athlete to administration and whether athlete concerns received attention commensurate with the gravity of the issues raised. Findings presented here indicate that administrative officials appeared less concerned with athlete well-being than with avoiding attracting attention to potential institutional malfeasance. The congruity of these results with evidence from the broader college athlete population as well as legal implication for institutional duty of care are discussed.
Keywords: sports, college athletics, athlete abuse, mistreatment, college athletes, NCAA, concussion, athlete rights
JEL Classification: J81, J83, J01, J28, J42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation