On Thursday (August 13), a group of senators announced that they plan to introduce a “College Athletes Bill of Rights.”
According to CNN, the proposal aims at compensating college athletes and comes amid an ongoing debate whether to pay these students as the coronavirus pandemic pressures conferences to cancel or postpone games scheduled for the upcoming sports season.
If enacted as legislation, it would allow college athletes “to market their name, image, and likeness” with minimal restrictions and prevent institutions like the NCAA from “restricting or regulating athlete compensation.”
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An oversight commission made up of current and former college athletes, officials and policy experts have created the bill that aims to fundamentally give players “a meaningful voice and level the playing field by establishing baseline rules that govern college sports,” lifetime scholarships and an increase in financial assistance for “current and former college athletes with medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses from sport-related injuries.”
Democratic New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, who helped introduce the legislation, said in a statement Thursday that “time has come for change.”
“As a former college athlete, this issue is personal to me. 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,” said Booker, a former Stanford University football player. “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 proposal is supported by other Democrats, including vice presidential hopeful Kamala Harris, Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Sen. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii, Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
According to Booker’s office, the proposed legislation will be introduced in the Senate during the coming months.