As Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports noted earlier this week, some institutions such as Ohio State, Indiana, Southern Methodist University, and others have requested that football players and other student-athletes sign coronavirus-related waivers that exonerate schools if any COVID-19 claims are later filed.
Per Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated, Senators Richard Blumenthal and Cory Booker introduced legislation on Tuesday to prohibit those waivers:
The Congressional-NCAA news continues.— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) June 30, 2020
U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduce legislation today to prohibit the COVID-19 waivers that some colleges are requiring their athletes sign in order to workout on campus. pic.twitter.com/QzEcUBCPbn
The College Athlete Pandemic Safety Act, touched upon by Forbes' Andrew Zimbalist, would block those waivers, protect scholarships for athletes who opt-out of playing amid the pandemic, and require that programs inform student-athletes when a fellow player or a staff member has tested positive for the virus:
Dodd noted the legality of such waivers was questioned even before the introduction of the College Athlete Pandemic Safety Act. With coronavirus outbreaks occurring throughout programs roughly two months before college football is scheduled to start, young adults may require protection, even from themselves.