The fight for players’ rights has reached Capitol Hill. This morning, a group of ten U.S. senators, led by Cory Booker, announced plans for a “college athletes bill of rights” to guarantee NCAA student-athletes monetary compensation, long-term healthcare, lifetime scholarships, and the ability to transfer without penalty.
Senator Booker, who played football at Stanford, said the bill aims to take Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) Rights even further, allowing athletes to enter group licensing deals (e.g. clothing lines, the NCAA video game) and revenue-sharing agreements with conferences and their schools, which the NCAA and Power 5 oppose.
“The NCAA has failed generations of young men and women even when it comes to their most basic responsibility — keeping the athletes under their charge healthy and safe,” he said. “The time has come for change. We have an opportunity to do now what should have been done decades ago — to step in and provide true justice and opportunity for college athletes across the country.”
The group, which also includes Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders, plans to introduce the bill in the coming months and anticipates it garnering bipartisan support. This is just one of multiple NIL bills being drafted as the push against amateurism continues. California, Florida, and Colorado have all passed NIL laws, with Florida’s going into effect in July 2021.
“This bill of rights is really about empowering athletes and giving them rights to protect themselves and make sure they share in the enormous revenues that are generated,” said Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn), one of the bill’s sponsors. “Coaches and athletic directors need to put their money where their mouth is. They talk about, ‘There’s no ‘i’ in team.’ All the slogans repeated before every game in a locker room need to be made real.”
For more details on the proposal, click the link below.