Instead of fighting these movements at the state level, the NCAA went to Congress to look for federal laws to replace state laws and provide antitrust protections to fend off lawsuits that have begun to destroy the model of amateurism that is sharing of athletes has prevented in the profits that millionaires have made from top coaches and administrators.
Two Senate bills introduced earlier this month will receive more attention in the next session, which begins in January. One, introduced by Mississippi Republican Roger Wicker, allows athletes to make money from their names, images, and likenesses, but comes with restrictions – including protecting the lucrative college clothing stores – as well as the coveted antitrust exemption from the N.C.A.A. The other, from the New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker, goes way beyond image rights. Demand for profit sharing with players in sports such as soccer, basketball and baseball for men and women. Which bill receives more attention depends on who controls the Senate after the two runoff elections in Georgia on January 5.
Booker said state legislation had the hand of the N.C.A.A. forced and left her no choice but to come to Congress. He said lawmakers could correct a mistake made in the 1950s when the N.C.A.A. coined the term “sports student” to convince Congress and then the courts that players should not be considered employees and therefore could not claim compensation for workers if injured.
“We think this is the right opportunity,” said Booker, “where we have a lot of leverage to advance an athlete-centered proposal that can stop exploitation, keep them safe, expand their educational opportunities, and openly help them actually do.” divide.” in some of the income generated by their work. “
Skinner also recently proposed new laws that would strengthen the Fair Pay for Gambling Act and postpone its implementation date by up to 17 months to August 1st to be on the same day as everyone else in N.C.A.A. would come into force. Rules that will be approved by the governing body next month. It would also go into effect a month after Florida law.
“I want to make sure California student-athletes have the protection we put them in,” Skinner said.
To that end, some adjustments were made to the language of the Fair Pay to Play Act, which Skinner said would include explicit parts of the law that are now just implied. For example, the N.C.A.A. The proposal would allow a swimmer to give lessons, but only if the client or a family member pays to do so. Skinner would make sure the athlete could get paid, for example, by a nonprofit group helping low-income children get swimming lessons. She points out that such restrictions would not be placed on any music student who was giving classes, so there should be no restrictions on a swimmer.