Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
MAY 20, 2013

Sports Medicine

Sports Medicine Center | University of Oklahoma HIPAA Compliance

Sports Medicine

University of Oklahoma Athletics Training provides quality care to student-athletics at the University. Responsibilities include the prevention, recognition, treatment and rehabilitation of athletics injuries.

Scholarship Student-Athletes

A scholarship student-athlete is defined as one whose funding is noted as "scholarship" on the official departmental roster.

In accordance with NCAA rules, the OU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics may provide a student-athlete's medical expenses (including surgical expenses, medication, rehabilitation, physical therapy expenses, and dental expenses) resulting from any injury or illness regardless of whether the injury or illness occurs during the academic year or summer vacation period.

"Athletically related injury or illness" is defined as condition(s) that occur in an organized, supervised athletic workout or intercollegiate competition for which the student-athlete is representing the University of Oklahoma.

Non-Scholarship Student-Athletes

Non-scholarship student-athletes are responsible for the payment of any and all expenses that result from athletically-related injury or illness, including dental work and physical examinations. The Athletics Department may pay medical expenses for athletically related injury or illness incurred by a non-scholarship student-athlete only if approved by the Associate Athletic Director for the specific student-athlete's sport.

The Associate Athletic Director will communicate all exceptions in writing to the student-athlete's Coach, the Compliance Coordinator, the Head Athletic Trainer, the Athletics Department's Insurance Processor, and the Coordinator of Financial Aid in charge of the official roster. Decisions concerning the medical eligibility of a student-athlete for athletic participation shall be the sole responsibility of the Certified Athletic Trainer and/or Team Physician(s). The Head Team Physician is the final authority regarding all medical eligibility.

Student-Athlete Responsibility

It is to be acknowledged by the student-athlete that there are certain inherent risks involved in participating in intercollegiate athletics and the student-athlete is willing to assume responsibility for such risk. All student-athletes may assume responsibility for:

  • Expense related to non-athletic related injury or illness which is inclusive of any condition(s) that occurs outside an organized, supervised athletic workout or intercollegiate competition for which the student-athlete is not representing the University of Oklahoma.
  • Expense related to condition(s) not arising from practice or competition (such as, but not limited to:  domestic accidents, motor vehicle accidents, sexually transmitted disease, or dental conditions not related to injury).
  • Unresolved athletically related injury or illness upon termination of athletic participation, withdrawal, or graduation from the University, unless arrangements for provision of medical care for the unresolved athletically related injury or illness is made prior to withdrawal, graduation, or termination of athletic participation.
Student-athletes are no longer eligible for medical coverage through the Athletics Department if:
  • Student-athlete quits sport.
  • Student-athlete is dismissed from sport.
  • An injured student-athlete discontinues rehabilitation as prescribed by the Team Physician.
  • The Team Physician certifies that an injured student-athlete has recovered sufficiently to reasonably permit him or her to compete, and that student-athlete nonetheless chooses to quit athletic participation.

Non-scholarship student-athletes are responsible for the payment of any and all expenses that result from athletically related injury or illness, including dental work and physical examinations. All non-scholarship studentathletes shall annually acknowledge, in writing, assumption of responsibility for injuries or illnesses and provide insurance information.

It is always the option of the student-athlete to obtain his or her own medical care. If his/her parents, guardian, or spouse prefer to seek their own medical care, note these guidelines:

The University of Oklahoma Department of Intercollegiate Athletics may not:

  • Assume financial responsibility for charges incurred, unless prior approval is granted by the Head Athletic Trainer or Head Team Physician.
  • Render any follow-up care; or,
  • Allow the student-athlete to participate until the following conditions are met:
  • The Head Athletic Trainer has received written clearance from the attending health care provider.
  • The student-athlete has received medical clearance from the Head Team Physician to resume athletic participation. 

Sport Safety

Participation in sports requires an acceptance of risk of injury. Student-athletes rightfully assume that those who are responsiblefor the conduct of sport have taken reasonable precautions to minimize the risk of significant injury. Periodic analysis of injury patterns continually leads to refinements in the rules and other safety guidelines.

Attempting to legislate safety via rules books and equipment standards, while helpful, is seldom entirely effective. Relying on officials to enforce compliance with rules books is as insufficient in preventing injury as relying on warning labels to produce behavioral compliance with safety guidelines.

Compliance implies respect on everyone's part (studentathlete, Coach, Certified Athletic Trainer, Physician, Athletics Director) for the intent and purpose of rules and guidelines.

Student-athletes, for their part, should comply with and understand the rules and standards that govern their sports. Coaches should appropriately acquaint the student-athlete with the risks of injury and with the rules and practices they are employing in order to minimize the student-athlete's risk of significant injury while pursuing the many benefits of sport.

The Certified Athletic Trainer and Team Physician should be responsible for injury-prevention efforts (whenever possible) and the care of those injuries that occur.

The athletics program, via the Athletics Administrator, should be responsible for providing a safe environment. The student-athlete and the athletic program have a mutual need for an informed awareness of the risks being accepted and for sharing the responsibility of minimizing those risks.


  • The Athletics Department will assume responsibility for medical expenses incurred by scholarship student-athletes if referred to and approved by a Certified Athletic Trainer or Team Physician.
  • If a student-athlete quits or is dismissed, medical care and coverage may cease.
  • Non-scholarship student-athletes are entirely responsible for all medical expenses, unless a waiver is granted by the Athletics Administration, and are required to submit proof of insurance covering athletically related injury and illness.
  • If there is ever a question, comment, or concern by a student-athlete regarding any aspect of provision of medical care, the Head Athletic Trainer and Team Physician should be contacted directly.
  • The head Team Physician is the final authority regarding all medical eligibility.

HIPAA Compliance

OU is required to be compliant with the HIPAA Privacy and Security Regulations. The regulations establish national standards regarding uses and disclosures of protected health information.



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