As salaries and NIL compensation go up, so does liability insurance for sports medicine practitioners

Rising costs of medical malpractice insurance may affect the care available to high-profile athletes, and the trickle down effect to others who need sports medicine/orthopedics care might affect us all, as doctors choose other fields.

Mike Nolan

I dislike NIL and paying players highly, but I believe there should be a healthcare fund based on how many practices and game plays they participate in. For simplicity if it was for years in uniform I would be good with that.

Mostly for the athletes that never have an NFL contract as where does the college’s liability stop and the NFL’s start.

Obviously it wouldn’t include high school injuries, but in general that can be considered the equivalent of “tuition reimbursement” bonus that companies offer when hiring out of b-school. Basically to get a college scholarship you had to pay tuition at the high school football school of hard nocks.

Cant blame the physicians. Just hope the PT’s don’t get hit as well !

My college roommate who became an Obgyn netted about $30,000 one year practicing in Illinois with the malpractice rates so high. He looked at coming out here to California where rates were much lower due to a $500,000 cap on pain and suffering damages. I think Illinois later was able to implement some changes to make the cost affordable and he stayed

Perhaps if the rates stay high for the Orthopedics they might be able to have some sort of state pool for amounts in excess of certain levels. I can see high school athletes being denied help because of concern of their loss of earning power with NIL resulting in a very large award for possible malpractice


Even HS players are getting NIL in some places, and some highly ranked potential recruit who is injured might try suing for loss of lifetime earnings on the basis of what he MIGHT have made in college and the pros. Wouldn’t be sillier than some of the suits that have already won millions if not billions.


Yes my point about a high school kid and simply his/her potential from NIL alone in the future at college might keep an orthopedist away ( Maybe they were in negotiations with a deal and it fell through , thus providing some evidence of loss of value)

It was my understanding that high school players are ineligible for NIL money ( unless the state scholastic association allowed it ,which I didn’t think any did)


I would have said HS athletes were ineligible for NIL money, too, but I recently saw something that suggested at least one athlete has found a way to get it. I don’t recall the details, maybe it was someone whose HS eligibility was exhausted and he was getting NIL based on where he was planning to go to college?

Also, there are a number of states that have passed NIL laws, maybe some of them apply to HS athletes? (The lack of uniformity in NIL rules is a major problem, which is why the new NCAA head is lobbying Congress.)

There were some concerns that Keisei Tominaga, Nebraska’s point guard, might not be eligible for NIL because he’s a Japanese citizen so the NCAA rules, such as they are, may not apply, and I don’t think Nebraska has passed any state laws on NIL. However, he has announced he’s coming back for another season, speculation is that the NBA and or the Japanese leagues told him he needed more experience.

Here’s what a Google search came up with:

California - Confirmed Permission

“any student-athlete can be compensated for their name, image, and likeness, so long as there is no recognition of the student-athletes’ school, school logos, uniforms, or insignia.”

And see

Mike Nolan

Well if a high school athlete can collect NIL ,then some 13 year old who claims malpractice may be able to collect on the grounds that the “botched” surgery cost him /her a chance at NIL money in high school


Yeah, and I’m sure that’ll get factored into the decisions doctors and their insurance carriers make, Harry.

My wife and I have both been to the sports medicine/orthopedists recently, she because of a dislocated shoulder, me because of a deteriorating hip joint. The disclaimers/waivers we signed were very comprehensive.

There was a science fiction story I read some years ago about a future in which children could sue their parents for their parenting decisions. One of the examples was a kid who was disciplined for drawing on the walls, and as an adult sued because it thwarted his potential to become a famous artist.

I’m not sure that’s science fiction any more.