Michigan Reps. Propose Bills Allowing College Athletes to Make Money

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Michigan state representatives introduced two bills this week that would allow student-athletes in college to make money off their name while in school.

Both pieces of legislation try to tackle the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) out-of-date rules on amateurism. Currently, student-athletes can only receive scholarships and nothing else if they want to stay eligible to play their sports.

The first bill introduced by Brandt Iden (R-Oshtemo), who was a tennis player at Kalamazoo College, would allow athletes to receive compensation from a third-party source if their name, likeness or image is used in any way.

Iden wants “Michigan” to lead on this issue.

“College sports is a billion-dollar business, but these outdated NCAA rules treat the student-athletes at the heart of that business unfairly,” he said. “Right now, student-athletes have no liberty when it comes to capitalizing on their own names and images.”

The second bill introduced by Joe Tate (D-Detroit), who was a former lineman in the National Football League, would allow athletes to hire agents while in school.

Tate believes allowing student-athletes to make money will help those fighting to survive.

“Athletes who are struggling to get by and unable to even have a little walking around money are going to be able to enter into the market through their current craft, and that’s a positive and just development,” he said.

California became the first state in September to pass a law to allow college athletes to make money off their likeness. Ever since, many states have introduced similar pieces of legislation.

Reacting to these proposed bills, the NCAA voted last month to allow college athletes to “benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness in a manner consistent with the collegiate model.”

Michael V. Drake, who is the chair of NCAA’s board of governors and president of Ohio State University believes the organization must embrace change to give college athletes “ the best possible experience.”

“Additional flexibility in this area can and must continue to support college sports as a part of higher education, he said. “This modernization for the future is a natural extension of the numerous steps NCAA members have taken in recent years to improve support for student-athletes, including full cost of attendance and guaranteed scholarships.”

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Zachery Schmidt is the digital editor of Battleground State NewsFollow Zachery on Twitter.
Photo “University of Michigan Football” by Missy Caulk. CC BY-SA 2.0.

 

 

 

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