Just a day after California’s governor signed a bill into law which allows student-athletes to be paid, officials in Pennsylvania are attempting to follow suit, CBS Pittsburgh reports.
Democratic State Representatives Dan Miller and Ed Gainey are planning to introduce the “Fair Pay to Play Act,” which will be similar to California’s new law, which allows student-athletes to be compensated for names, images and likeness.
The NCAA brought in more than $1 billion last year — the bulk comes from TV rights and championship ticket sales. Hundreds of millions are allocated to schools and top-tier coaches make about $2.5 million a year.
Miller and Gainey say the limitations placed on the unpaid college student-athletes are harsh.
“Athletes are forced to give up their rights and economic freedom while the colleges make hundreds of millions of dollars off of their talent and likeness,” Miller said. “This bill would help to balance the scales by allowing them to sign endorsements, earn compensation, and hire agents to represent their interests in exchange for the work they do, and the benefit provided to the college.”
“Our student-athletes give their blood, sweat and tears to a sport they love, while colleges, universities and corporations reap the financial benefits of their work,” Gainey said. “The chances of a professional contract and thus a payout for all of their hard work and pain are tiny, and we owe it to them to level the playing field.”
The new “Fair Pay to Play Act” will not include community colleges. The proposed legislation will soon be sent to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
California Governor Gavin Newsom signed his state’s version of the bill into law on Monday. It will go into effect on January 1, 2023
In response, the NCAA said that states creating their own rules “will make unattainable the goal of providing a fair and level playing field” for nearly half a million student-athletes nationwide.
Lawmakers in Washington, Colorado, New York and South Carolina say they’re looking into a similar bill.