Former Oregon cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, who is of Nigerian descent is expected to be the first player to collect on a loss of draft value insurance, according to the man who underwrote the policy.
Keith Lerner told CBS Sports Thursday night that Ekpre-Olomu is in the process of collecting a $3 million claim after suffering a season-ending knee injury in December. The All-American corner, projected to be a first-round draft choice last May, slipped to the seventh round after blowing out his ACL before the College Football Playoff National Championship.
“That claim is close to getting paid,” said Lerner, the Gainesville, Florida-based head of Total Planning Sports Services.
Lerner added the claim should be paid in the next 30-60 days. Ekpre-Olomu was the 241st player taken in the draft by Cleveland. Loss of draft value claims are paid if a player slips one round lower than projected previously by a panel of draft experts.
“His hope is that he is going to come back and play,” Lerner said. “Hopefully he’ll come back and have a great career.”
Lerner’s Total Planning Sports underwrote the policy for Lloyd’s of London. Oregon paid the injury and/or loss of value insurance premiums for several players last year, including Ekpre-Olomu and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Marcus Mariota.
The ethics of schools’ paying of those premiums has become a talking point in NCAA circles. The money comes from the NCAA Student Assistance Fund. The fund typically totals $300,000 or more and is earmarked for all athletes in a school’s athletic department budget.
Premiums for a first round-rated player could account for 20 percent or more of that total. Typically, premiums cost $8,000 per $1 million of insurance, Lerner said.
Loss of draft value policies have been around for 25 years, according to Lerner, but only in the last 2-3 years have they increased in volume.
Lerner said only one player he has ever insured collected on a disability (career-ending) claim. That was former Florida defensive tackle Ed Chester in 1998.