Jameis Winston insurance policy paid for by FSU - huh?

Submitted by Dan Man on August 4th, 2014 at 10:33 PM

Florida State University, via its "Student Assistant Fund," is paying for an insurance policy for Jameis Winston on which he can collect if he is injured in a way that hurts his NFL value.  The article linked below says that it's up to the conferences to determine how such student assistant funds can be used.  Am I missing something here?  This seems like the school is giving Winston a direct monetary benefit to play there.  Just to clarify - I'm not making an argument that athletes should or should not be paid; I'm just wondering how FSU can get away with this under the current rules.  Does Michigan or any Big 10 school ever pay for such insurance policies for their players?  Anybody know?

Link here.



August 4th, 2014 at 10:39 PM ^

I thought student athletes weren't allowed benefits not available to each member of the student body.


They should take that money and hire Winston a PR expert to teach him how to speak coherently. 

Ron Utah

August 4th, 2014 at 10:39 PM ^

This is the kind of thing universities should be offering their athletes.  It's the right thing to do and it helps more kids have the confidence to stay in school and get their degree.

I hope all schools start to do this.


August 4th, 2014 at 10:43 PM ^

Nothing surprises me about the idiocy of the NCAA anymore.

Just waiting for the day when big-endowment D1 schools (Stanford, UMich, NW, Notre Dame, UCs, Duke, UVa) just say fuck it, we are buying players a la European soccer.  SEC, ACC are already doing it.

Apparently per the comments on OPs link, WInston's disability policy costs $50-60K.  Not an extra benefit, huh.

Fuzzy Navel

August 4th, 2014 at 11:30 PM ^

I believe Wisconsin did the same thing for Gordon. The university is allowed to pay for one type of policy where it will pay out if the player experiences a career-ending injury. However, there is another type where the policy will pay out if the player experiences a large drop in draft stock. Im fairly sure the NCAA prohibits universities for paying for this type of policy.


August 5th, 2014 at 12:16 AM ^

as someone else indicated Wisconsin did it for gordon. imo this should be a service that is expanded as a result of NCAA reform. if an athlete sacrifices their future health and livelihood for the good of the university and its fans, alumni, and donors they deserve insurance if nothing else.


August 5th, 2014 at 12:45 AM ^

they all deserve it.  the way this is framed (to me at least) is making me feel like there is a serious lack of balance in what universities can do for their players.

Yes, Winston has a 'financial need' in the sense that he would struggle to pay $50k for an insurance policy.  Yet that policy is something that will financially protect him in the event he is injured.  He's (essentially) being given money to protect his ability to make money, while a member of an association that champions student athletes and amateurism, all the while preventing him from... making money.  Doesn't pass the sniff test for me.

I absolutely wouldn't have a problem with this if everyone could do it as a way to even the competitive landscape and reward players for what they are worth to the school.  Until that point, however, the NCAA's reason for being rings awfully hollow to me.


August 5th, 2014 at 12:56 AM ^

What alarms me about this is the big schools ability to afford better insurance and to cover more players than small schools.  Seems like a large discrepancy that will let the top schools play on uneven ground with the mid and lower tiers.  Why would a recruit go to a Purdue if he could go to UofM with the promise of an insurance policy if anything should happen.   I understand we aren't at that point yet, but it's a slippery slope in my opinion.


August 5th, 2014 at 11:19 AM ^

Not allowing this just results in a race to the bottom and lowers the standard to the lowest common denominator. You can't stop the wealthier schools from treating their athletes better just because other schools cannot afford to do the same. It is anti-competitive and is unfair to the student-athletes that deserve the better perks.

Leaders And Best

August 5th, 2014 at 7:00 AM ^

Many players get the permanent disability insurance, but the loss of value insurance is additional policy you have to buy that can be very expensive. The Student Assistance Fund has existed for a while, but it has only been a recent development that schools have begun using it for loss of value insurance policies. The Student Assistance Fund has a yearly limit set by the NCAA (the SEC allotted $350,000 per school last year) and can be used for a variety of purposes (travel, clothes, post-eligibility financial aid). I think this is a good development for the players though as the schools should be paying for these.



August 5th, 2014 at 7:05 AM ^

If Winston is being insured, why wouldn't you insure virtually everyone who has a chance of playing professional sports?  At a school like Michigan, that would include not only football,but basketball, hockey and baseball as well.  Considering how Beilein has been developing NBA talent over the last few years, and how Berenson has done so for a very long time, there are a lot of players who could fall under the coverage umbrella. in addition to football players.

My initial thought was that perhaps the NCAA should also foot some of the bill, but why not get contributions from professional sports who derive a huge benefit from a continuous supply of athletic talent from universities who provide a minor league of sorts free to the NFL, NBA, NHL, etc.

I have believed for some time that if I were a potential first round draft choice, I would forego an extra year or two in school to avoid the risk of an injury that would end a career before it begins.  If there were a way to cover kids so the financial risk were mitigated, perhaps more student-athletes would remain at their universities instead of heading to the pros at their first available opportunity.


August 5th, 2014 at 7:13 AM ^

A&M just did this for one of their star O-linemen. I believe it's allowed under NCAA rules but most schools either don't know about it or don't take advantage of it. I want to say the article I read says each school has 300k a year to spend on things like this


August 5th, 2014 at 7:40 AM ^

Whether they use more of that funding or not, a school that uses tax dollars should cover everyone. Dictating the future of certain players while leaving others out in the cold is pretty reckless.

If you are going to say "well its only necessary for a few draft lock type of players" Tom Brady disagrees.


August 5th, 2014 at 8:18 AM ^

As for medical coverage, member institutions actually have to certify their own medical coverage for "recognized events" per the NCAA bylaws actually, so in essence if you play in a game in a recognized sport, technically you are covered - at least in part - by the school, or that's how I remember it being laid out actually. I think there is another bylaw which also says that the amount of coverage must be greater than or equal to the deductible of the NCAA's base injury program and can either be paid out by the student's medical coverage if they are on their parent's plan or by the school itself. 

The bylaw covering "loss of value" policies more or less says that an individual can borrow against future earnings potential from an accredited lending institution provided that a third party is not involved in securing the policy (or loan if it is cash). While the university can't be directly involved, what they are specifically allowed to do is appoint a designate to assist in the process. 



August 5th, 2014 at 1:38 PM ^

I still detest Ohio, but Stanley Jackson said the same thing I have been saying in a discussion on the Big Ten Network: schools don't have to pay players but the NCAA should let them take money on the free market from whoever wants to pay them.

Winston brought a lot of money into FSU by leading them to the BCS Championship last year.  I don't mind seeing him get that insurance and a bit of spending money on the side.  He certainly wouldn't have felt he had to steal crabmeat if he was getting paid from a fat shoe contract.