New York Senator Kevin Parker Proposes Bill to Pay College Athletes

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 18, 2019

FILE - In this March 18, 2015, file photo, the NCAA logo is at center court as work continues at The Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, for the NCAA college basketball second and third round games. The NCAA is moving toward reforming transfer rules. There is much work to be done and any drastic changes are likely a few years away. New transfer rules will be rooted in academics, and could give higher achieving students more freedom while limiting who might be less likely to graduate if they switch schools.(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

After California passed a bill that would allow athletes to profit from their names and likenesses, New York is attempting to take up legislation that would take that standard one step further. 

New York state senator Kevin Parker proposed a similar bill earlier this week but then added an amendment that would "require college athletic departments to give a 15 percent share of annual revenue to student-athletes," according to Dan Murphy of ESPN.

"It's about equity," Parker said. "These young people are adding their skill, talent and labor to these universities. ...You don't need the shortcuts and the end-arounds because now we're providing some real support for these student-athletes."

The revenue would be divided equally among all student-athletes in all sports for each school.

The NCAA strongly opposed the California bill in a letter to governor Gavin Newsom, saying the law is "harmful" and "unconstitutional" while arguing that it would create an "unfair recruiting advantage" for teams in the state.

The bill—which wouldn't go into effect until 2023—would allow players to sign endorsement deals or earn money from their names, images or likenesses in video games or jersey sales, for example. However, it would not force schools to pay the athletes directly.

This is a key difference from the New York proposal, which intends to give athletes a portion of the schools' revenue.

If it passes, it could lead to a major change in college athletics considering the amount of money changing hands. According to USA Today, Texas led all programs with over $219 million in revenue during the 2017-18 school year with 38 schools making more than $100 million.

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