Democratic Senators introduce College Athletes Bill Of Rights that would overtake NCAA athletics


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Amid ongoing deliberations on whether collegiate athletes should be paid, Sen. Cory Booker (DN.J.) and a group of Democratic senators are Thursday introduce legislation that would radically revise the way student-athletes participating in athletic programs at major colleges across the country are compensated and treated both during and after their time on campus.

Important facts

One of the most notable changes in the 61-page piece of legislation would be that athletes would be paid directly based on the excess revenue they help generate.

In sports (mainly football and basketball) that generate more revenue than the total amount of scholarships, these athletes would be entitled to a 50% share the funds remaining after financing the scholarships.

The US Department of Health and Human Services would create standards of care for medical care, and schools would have to contribute annually to a trust fund aimed at covering costs cost of such care (during her college career and for five years thereafter).

Colleges and universities would be obliged to do so keep paying for an athlete scholarship, “as many years as it takes to obtain a bachelor’s degree,” as long as the athlete maintains a GPA of 2.2 or higher.

Restrictions that prevent athletes from doing so transfer to other schools would be removed.

Next to Booker is the bill co-sponsored by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Rep. Janice Schakowsky (D-Ill.), and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (DN.Y.).

Critical quote:

“This is one of the few industries in America that is allowed to exploit those responsible for generating the most revenue,” Booker told ESPN. “I feel the federal government has a role and responsibility that we shy away from in terms of protecting athletes and ensuring their safety. I just really believe there’s an urgency here that hasn’t been met in decades.”

key background:

President of the National Collegiate Athletic Association last December said Mark Emmert It is “very likely” that federal legislation will be passed that will change the way collegiate athletes can be compensated. According to ESPN, the legislation introduced by Booker and co. on Thursday, is one of six proposals from members of Congress aimed at changing the business model in college sports. The NCAA Board of Governors is scheduled to vote in January on whether to change its rules to allow athletes compensated for using their names, images and likenesses. On Wednesday the The Supreme Court agreed Reviewing a court decision in an antitrust case, the NCAA has said it “blurred the line between student athletes and professionals.” The NCAA filed the appeal in May. “We are pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court will review the NCAA’s right to provide student-athletes with the educational services they need to succeed in school and beyond,” said Donald Remy, the NCAA’s chief legal officer. said in an opinion.


In September, a study published found by the National Bureau of Economic Research that less than 7% of NCAA-generated scholarship and grant revenue finds its way to soccer and men’s basketball players. The study estimates that men’s basketball and soccer players split in the most prestigious conferences 50% of sales equally, each soccer player would receive $360,000 a year. Each basketball player would make nearly $500,000 annually.

What to look out for:

Sen. Booker said He believes Congress can pass college sports reform legislation in the “first half of 2021.” Senator Blumenthal noted that passing such a law could depend on which party controls the Senate (which will be determined by the runoff election, which will be held in Georgia on Jan. 5).

Big number:

$8.5 billion. That’s the annual revenue for the top NCAA Division 1 schools, with 58% of that revenue coming directly from men’s soccer and basketball programs. according to the National Bureau for Economic Research.

Further reading:

NCAA athletes could make $2 million a year if paid fairly, study suggests (Forbes)

Congressional proposal would overhaul varsity sports, require revenue sharing and cover athletes’ medical expenses (ESPN)


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