Lawmakers push for student-athlete compensation

Washington DC Bureau

In this April 19, 2019, file photo, an athlete stands near a NCAA logo during a softball game in Beaumont, Texas. The NCAA is poised to take a significant step toward allowing college athletes to earn money without violating amateurism rules. The Board of Governors will be briefed Tuesday, Oct. 29 by administrators who have […]

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — There’s plenty of fanfare, and money, surrounding college sports.

But the debate over whether or not to pay student-athletes has many crying foul.

On Capitol Hill, Senators Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, are at the forefront of addressing the lack of compensation for student-athletes.

“I think it’s time for us to recognize that student-athletes need to get a little more than they are today,” Murphy said.

The lawmakers recently met with NCAA President Dr. Mark Emmert to discuss potential solutions.

“To modernize our rules, to provide greater opportunity for student-athletes in a variety of areas that we’re talking about,” Emmert said.

But Emmert said solving the problem becomes harder when states like California pass their own legislation. A federal solution would need to come before the state’s “Fair Pay to Play Act,” which takes effect in 2023.

“It’s very hard to have colleges competing across state lines and each state has different rules about how the athletes are able to participate financially in their sport,” Romney said.

Romney said it’s also important to find a solution that helps players without a high profile.

“If you’re the left tackle of a Division I school that may not be the most prominent school in the country, you’re probably not going to see a lot that’s going to come from name image and likeness,” Romney explained.

There’s currently no legislation to address the issue, but lawmakers plan to continue their talks with NCAA in the new year.


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