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College Athlete Privacy

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Abstract
The first thing college athletes sign when they commit to a university is sign a contract. In this contract, the athletes sign over their privacy rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA serves to protect the privacy of an individual’s educational records as well as any personal information help by the university or institution they are attending. The academic standings of athletes are too often given out to the public. The names of the athletes are being used by large corporations without their consent for the company’s own personal growth. The medical records of the athlete are protected under FERPA instead of HIPPA, which allows for more individuals access to. Also, academic advisors are obligated
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FERPA’s legal definition is extremely broad and only addresses educational records and personally identifiable information (Parry, 2002, p. 177). This broad definition should be explained more thoroughly to protect the student-athletes. The Fourth Amendment protects the athlete’s privacy regarding drug testing. The athlete must sign a contract in most cases that gives permission for the school to test the athlete for drugs at any time in order to participate in their sport. The Fourth Amendment also protects athletes from being violated in an unwarranted search (McChrystal, 2001, p. 398). FERPA specifically protects the privacy of athletes from personal facts being shared with the public (Graham et al., 2008, p. 302). This information includes academic standing including grades and any probation. Facts may also include any conversation with an academic advisor. Additional information protected under FERPA is medical records within the institution. Any information that is held by the institution or university may not be shared with anyone who has not been consented by the athlete. The athlete must be over the age of 18, a legal adult, to have their privacy kept from their parents. However, if the athlete is under the age of 21 and performs in illegal activity such as alcohol or drug consumption, the parents may be contacted. The most commonly known…show more content…
In order for other medical facilities to request medical records of athletes from the university, the athlete must sign a release waiver (Kiel, 2010, p. 161). This can be easily over looked and cause complications when a medical emergency arises. Since the athlete’s medical records at the University is protected by FERPA, coaches, faculty, and athletic trainers may view these records. This may cause a higher chance of the athlete’s medical records to be shared with unauthorized personnel. A coach could access the athlete’s medical record or history and share it with the media or another coach. A particular case that was denied of a violation of privacy because it could not be proven was when a principle shared with a coach about a player’s health concern. This was deemed acceptable except that the conversation was overheard by other players (McChrystal, 2001, p. 405). There was not enough proof in court to file charges, but this is a prime example of what could happen with medical records protected under FERPA. If the athlete’s medical records were protected under HIPAA, the athlete would be able to choose who had access to their records. The physician would still be able to determine if the athlete’s health was a concern to participate in a sport or not. If the athlete needed their medical information for a class or internship they would have to retrieve the records from the health facility
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