Sports Medicine

Risk of Injury

The purpose of this memo is to inform you of the medical insurance available to you as an intercollegiate athlete, to outline our policies and procedures regarding payment of medical bills for athletic injuries, and to advise you of the risks of participation in intercollegiate athletics. Each year many athletes have the impression that Brown University or the Athletic Department pays all bills for athletes injured in intercollegiate sports. THIS IS NOT TRUE.

To help pay for medical expenses related to injuries, accidents, and illnesses in physical education, intramural, and club sports, and those related to participation in intercollegiate athletics, the University sponsors a Student Health Insurance Plan. You are automatically enrolled in the plan and billed for this insurance unless you submit a Student Health Insurance Plan Waiver Form to the Office of Insurance & Risk each year by the deadline of June 1st that indicates you have comparable coverage. We strongly recommend that you DO NOT waive this Student Health Insurance Plan. Each year, there are numerous cases of students who thought their private insurance was adequate only to be shocked to find that they were not covered or that they were left with a large bill in excess of the amount paid by their insurance company.

In order for the University-sponsored insurance plan to consider payment of covered medical expenses, your initial care and any referral to an outside facility or specialist must be rendered by a provider on the staff of the University Health Services. The University-sponsored insurance coverage will apply within its limits to any outside facility or specialist if formal referral is made for each condition, each policy year by a University Health Services provider. For exceptions to the referral requirement of the Student Health Insurance Plan and for a more complete description of the plan benefits, please refer to the plan brochure which is available on the Office of Insurance & Risk website at

Injury Risk and Shared Responsibility for Sport Safety
Participation in sports requires an acceptance of risk of injury. In view of the dangers involved in sports, it is necessary to inform each athlete of the risks of participating, especially in contact sports. There is the very present risk of serious disability injury including paralysis and, on rare occasions, death.

Intercollegiate football presents the greatest risk for injury. At Brown, although we take every precaution to minimize the risks of serious injury, we assume that you fully understand these risks and are participating of your own free will. You share the responsibility for sports safety and must avoid techniques that are detrimental and against the rules.