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NCAA Acknowledges Crisis: Athletic Trainers Shying Away from College Settings Due to Respect, Balance, and Salary Struggles

Is the NCAA responsible for the current situation for ATs in the college setting?

The NCAA held their NCAA Convention January 10-14, 2024, in Phoenix, AZ.  NCAA Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Brian Hainline, gave a presentation on the topic Collegiate Athletic Trainer Workforce Issues and Trends. During this presentation, he remarked what many ATs already know. There is no shortage of ATs. There are fewer ATs who want to work in the colleges due to lack of respect, balance, and salary. 

Twitter has been a frenzy with responses to this statement, with nothing short of the obvious “duh.” 

Is the NCAA responsible for the current situation for ATs in the college setting? Are there different pain points for ATs in other colleges that fall under other governing boards like the NAIA or NJCAA? 

The NCAA outlines their mission and priorities on their website. The NCAA’s mission and priorities are as followed:


Provide a world-class athletics and academic experience for student-athletes that fosters lifelong well-being.


Coordinate and deliver safe, fair and inclusive competition directly and by Association members:

  • Set rules and guidelines and provide enforcement.

  • Create programs that support outstanding performance on and off the field.

  • Deliver excellent and inclusive championships.

Provide world-class services to student-athletes and members that leverage the NCAA’s collective scale:

  • Lead research and promote innovation that improves health, safety and performance.

  • Provide capabilities and programming that fill in the gaps for members.

  • Identify, co-create and distribute best practices to student-athletes and members.

Grow the college sports ecosystem:

  • Inspire the next generation of athletes and up-and-coming sports.

  • Enable quality access and viewing for all who want it.

  • Use data to engage fans with highly personalized experiences and products.

Deliver sustainable funding for the NCAA mission:

  • Excite fans fandom through compelling entertainment products and services.

  • Grow media, sponsorship and ticketing revenue.

  • Innovate new revenue streams.

  • Set a culture of cost discipline.

Where does respect and care about the wellbeing of ATs fall within the NCAA's mission and priorities?

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