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Former Wildcat wants Post-Graduate Health Insurance for Student-Athletes


As fans and athletes pick up their pitchforks to demand the NCAA to pay student-athletes, one former Kentucky football player is asking for something simple, and probably more valuable, health insurance.

Mike Pfeifer was a star at Louisville Trinity before he became an All-American offensive lineman at Kentucky for Jerry Claiborne.  A blossoming bully in the trenches with NFL aspirations, his junior season ended early after he blew out his knee.  He rehabilitated his knee, until his NFL dreams were shattered by a broken foot.

That foot is still broken.  His body is still hurting.  He needs a knee replacement.  All of his health problems stem from his playing days, but he must pay the costs out of pocket.

“I’ve spent more money on the dag-gone injuries than my whole scholarship was worth,” Pfeiffer told WKYT. “It’s ridiculous.”

He does not blame UK or the NCAA for his ailments, but he hopes they will take action now, so it is not a problem for players in the future.

[WKYT]

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

10 responses to “Former Wildcat wants Post-Graduate Health Insurance for Student-Athletes”

  1. ukwildcat1991

    I’m just curious, is ksr going to write anything about Jodie Meeks and what just happened to him? Smh…

    1. catdaddyd

      They wrote about it yesterday.

  2. UKPROF

    With all due respect to Mike, the NCAA did NOT make him play football. And he also just admitted, knowing what he has gone through in the past 25 years… that he would STILL do it again. Why is it that so many want someone else to “pay up” for what they chose to do. If you want to play football, you are probably going to have some injuries. Do you really believe that someone else other than you should be responsible to compensate you financially for what you did 25+ years ago? Oh sure, that would be grand if every college football player gets free medical health care for the rest of our lives! Only our elected politicians are entitled to perks like that! You need to run for office.

    1. Smyrna_Cat

      I still don’t see harm in the medical coverage he is talking about … but I think that will be hard to pass.

    2. katsrock

      Mike was recruited as a high school all-american DT and expected to play as such. He arrived on campus and was told he would be an offensive tackle (where these type of knee injuries are much more likely than at DT). He was then PRESSURED by the coaching staff to return too early from the injury and PRESSURED to play on his broken foot, exacerbating the problem. This, of course, ruined his chance at a can’t-miss NFL career.
      UKPROF, you can’t be blamed for your ignorant claim “(they) did NOT make him play football” because you don’t know Mike or the situation, but you should be careful not to make blanket statements about situations you have no personal knowledge of. Mike is showing a lot of restraint in this interview, but my opinion is that UK, through the coaching staff at the time, is culpable for his long term injuries.

    3. ClutchCargo

      I can’t believe I’m agreeing with UKPROF on something, but he is correct about this. Injuries are a part of football.

  3. UKPROF

    Thank you ClutchCargo. I did not want to reply to katsrock but I do know Mike just a little better than katsrock may think. Mike is a super guy and most likely he was injured as a result of some coaching decisions. My point was that Mike has indicated that the NCAA should foot his medical expenses. Many college football player will have on going long term medical expenses. “Come play Division 1 college football and if you need medical assistance at any point down the road due to a football injury…we got your back! signed NCAA” Can’t happen Mike, look elsewhere other than the NCAA. That would be one way for sure to bankrupt the NCAA. Like you said, if you’re going to play college football, you’re probably going to get injured.

  4. hay22cats

    Agree with UKPROF. If you play anysports at a high level for a sustained amount of time you open your self up to injuries. What if we paid for every gymnast knee replacement when they were 45. I played college athletics, both baseball and basket ball at the NCAA DII level. My question would be where would these athletes fall in the spectrum of having to pay for there like long sustained injuries, which I have one of my self. Every man and women gets to make a conscious decision whether to do something or not. Whether pressured by coaches or not, whether it would impact his future or not. He still made a decision knowing the future consequences. So because I made a bad decision weather pressured or not to do so, I don’t get to blame other people for where I have ended up. I made the decision!

  5. StevieGotLoose

    Did he never have a job since he left UK? Sorry, but some of us have to pay for our own health insurance, copays, deductibles, etc. Wish someone would pay for my medical bills.

  6. BigBlue4Three

    I have 2 kids that are both D-I scholarship athletes and I would never expect lifetime insurance as part of their scholarship. They participate in their respective sports because they love the competition and being part of a team to accomplish a goal. During their college careers, they’ve had injuries and multiple surgeries but that’s part of the risk you take when you sign the scholarship papers. In addition to the monetary benefits from an athletic scholarship, I believe student athletes obtain even more value in learning leadership, the value of teamwork and the importance of giving back to their community.

    One of the biggest problems in our society is the whole “victimization movement” and total lack of personal responsibility. An increasing number of people have been brought up to believe that no matter the issue, it is always someone else’s fault and they are entitled to some form of benefit.

    People will find themselves much happier in life if they take responsibility for their own well being and quit relying on the government, their employer or other organizations to provide for them. Life is what you make of it.