March 11, 2013
Hey, if it's good enough for the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, it's good enough for one of the front-runners for the 2013 version of the award.
South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney — he of the freakish 4.5 40-yard dash at 270-plus pounds — confirmed to reporters Thursday that he has indeed secured a $5 million insurance policy through the NCAA. That figure is the maximum amount allowed under current NCAA guidelines.
The premium for such a policy, which falls under the auspices of the "Exceptional Student-Athlete Disability Program," is in the neighborhood of $40,000 annually. The NCAA will finance the the money needed to cover the premium — at a low-interest rate that would be paid back upon returning pro, incidentally — although the policy would only pay out upon a player suffering a career-ending injury.
If Clowney were to suffer an injury that negatively impacted his draft stock — he's widely expected to make the early leap to the NFL in 2014 and is the prohibitive favorite to be the first player selected — but was not career-ending, the lineman would receive no money from the policy.
Clowney could also go through a private insurer to secure a policy, although the NCAA would not help with the payment of the premium in such a case.
There's no word on whether Vincent Smith will seek a similar policy, although it's better to be safe than sorry as you never know when you may run into Clowney during the postseason.