Ankle Tape Can Be Sticky Situation in College Football

November 1, 2013 – In The News
USA Today

William Maruca was quoted in the USA Today article "Ankle Tape Can Be Sticky Situation in College Football." While the full text can be found in the November 1, 2013, issue of USA Today, a synopsis is noted below.

Spatting, the taping of an ankle over the shoe is common practice among football players. But, college players having their ankles spatted could be an issue, as it covers the logo on the shoe, often that of a sponsor of the university’s athletic teams.

With spatting becoming more common as a preventative measure, and even a fashion statement, concern has grown among university’s who have contracts with shoe suppliers that include restrictions on spatting.

Some companies even require the schools to notify them of players who will be spatted before the game, often with a letter from a physician or athletic trainer, causing potential concerns for compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Players sign a form allowing their school to release information to any number of parties, even the news media.

However, inclusion of the news media in releases might not clear universities of committing a HIPAA violation by notifying shoe companies of injured players needing to be spatted. It could depend on the sequence of events, according to Bill Maruca.

"If they tell the shoe company first without releasing it to the media, I don't think that's going to protect them," Maruca said.