Calif. bill calls for revenue sharing with college athletes | Sports

Calif. bill calls for revenue sharing with college athletes | Sports

A California lawmaker on Thursday introduced a bill that would require schools that play major varsity sports to pay certain athletes up to $25,000 a year, as well as cover the cost of six-year guaranteed sports scholarships and postgraduate medical expenses.

The College Athlete Protection Act is sponsored by Assemblyman Chris Holden, who is a former San Diego State basketball player, and is the type of state-level legislation that the NCAA expects federal lawmakers to implement. anticipate.

California was the first state to pass a law that gave college athletes the right to be compensated for their name, image and likeness in 2019. It sparked similar action by state legislatures across the country.

The NCAA lifted its ban on athletes profiting from fame with sponsorship and endorsement deals, but more than two dozen state-level NIL laws have prevented the association from creating its own detailed rules and regulations. uniforms.

Just last week at the NCAA convention, college athletic leaders reiterated the need for congressional help in regulating NIL compensation and protecting the association from state laws that undermine its ability to govern college sport.

“We need to solidify that when it comes to college sports, federal law prevails over state law,” Baylor president Linda Livingstone, chair of the NCAA board of governors, said last week. “In areas such as NIL, we are already seeing state legislators take steps that they believe will give universities in their states a competitive advantage over their neighbors.”

The bill introduced by Holden, a Democrat whose district includes Pasadena, asks California’s Division I schools to share 50% of revenue with athletes deemed undervalued because their athletic scholarship amounts do not match their market value. This would primarily be aimed at athletes participating in revenue-generating sports such as football and basketball, but not exclusively.

Money paid for scholarships would be included in the 50% that goes to players. The rest would go into a fund that would pay out annually. Individual payments would be determined based on what schools bring in and could not exceed $25,000 per year for an athlete.

Any excess revenue from athletes would go into a graduation fund that athletes could draw upon after graduating within six years.

The bill also calls on schools to cover sports-related medical costs, establish and enforce safety and transparency standards in recruiting, preserve all sports programs – not just those that generate revenue – and to comply with Title IX.

The bill is reminiscent of one introduced in 2020 at the federal level by four Democratic senators, including Cory Booker of New Jersey, called the College Athlete Bill of Rights.

This bill, similar to many others related to college sports and specifically NIL, introduced in Congress went nowhere.

Holden introduced the College Athlete Civil Rights Act of 2019 which was eventually signed into state law. This required schools to document and inform athletes of their rights and prohibited retaliation against athletes who reported violations or abuses.

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