NCAA abandon rules that prevent students from having self determination

NCAA abandon rules that prevent students from having self determination

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Frances Parker started this petition to College/University governing bodies and

On Monday, December 30, 2019 Bryce Gowdy a 17 year old 4 star football player from Deerfield Beach Florida  who was days away from enrolling at Georgia Tech on a full football scholarship, (where he would have majored in finance or engineering) stepped in front of a freight train and committed suicide. Bryce was consumed with financial worries that included homelessness and what would happen to his mother and brothers when he left them. In news interviews and social media postings Bryce's mother says his behavior in the days before his death was not typical, he was "talking crazy" and "talking in circles". Bryce's mom, Shibbon Winelle said in hews reports that she had been trying for months to get help. The housing and  financial situation faced by the family  made finding help difficult. 

Bryce's story is like so many other talented promising student athletes, full of promise, grades and athletic ability that can create a better life for them and their families, but stymied by a national governing agency that will take away their college eligibility if they receive financial assistance from those in the community that are aware of their sometimes dire situations. This type of unfair eligibility governance also extends to student athletes who are penalized because of financial decisions sometimes made by parents who are offered and accept help against NCAA rules, and students who realize as a high school student they chose a school that is not a good fit for them. 

Declaring students ineligible or otherwise penalizing them for decisions made by their parents is unconscionable. Children should not be held responsible for decisions they have no control over. It is unreasonable to hold unemancipated  students accountable for the decisions of  adults charged with their care. 

It is equally ludicrous to penalize students who decide to transfer by making them sit out a year if they decide to transfer. Non student athletes are not penalized if they transfer, coaches are not required to sit out a year if they decide to change jobs. The reality of the real world is that people realize schools, jobs even relationships are not a good fit and they are allowed to use their right of self-determination to move on. Student athletes should also be allowed to use their right to self-determination without penalty. All student athletes will not become professional athletes, but if they possess the athletic ability to obtain a scholarship, they should be allowed to pursue their education without delays because they transfer schools. Forcing students to sit out a year is for some a delay in obtaining gainful employment that can help them start a productive life, which should be the ultimate goal of a college education.

Bryce Gowdy's suicide demonstrates how the restrictive rules imposed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association can be devastating for the student athletes they profess to protect. The solution is simple:

1. The NCAA must implement rules that make it easy for student athletes who are facing dire personal circumstances to receive help from citizens who wish to help through crowd funding efforts. Crowd funding efforts are often employed to help non student athletes in need.

2. The NCAA should implement rules that do not penalize students whose parents make decisions that can render them ineligible according to current rules. 

3. The NCAA should not penalize student athletes  who decide to transfer to a new school, they should have the same right to self-determination as students who are not athletes.

If the NCAA does not take action to remove these restrictive, out dated rules from their legislation, local and national lawmakers should take action to protect student athletes. This is Bryce's petition we must take action to try and prevent a tragic downfall or loss of life of another student.

 

 

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