The College Athlete Bill of Rights proposed in Congress could change the whole ballgame. According to multiple articles from outlets including the New York Times, ESPN, and Bleacher Report, the bill proposed by Sen. Corey Booker (D-N.J.) and Sen. Richard Bluementhal (D-Conn.) would alter the landscape for college sports in virtually every way.
Beyond allowing athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness, the bill would let athletes strike their own deals with apparel companies, though not in conflict with existing school agreements. It would also set forth requirements for revenue sharing between schools and their athletes, would outline scholarship guarantees for athletes in good academic standing, and would include health and safety provisions.
Details of provisions in the 61-page bill include:
- The new law, if passed in its current form, would also establish a nine-member presidential Commission on College Athletics, that would suggest rule changes, investigate violations, and resolve disputes.
- The bill would stipulate that 50 percent of revenue be shared with football, basketball, and baseball athletes granted a right to 50 percent of the money that remains after scholarships are paid.
- If the law is enacted, schools would be required to make annual contributions to a medical trust fund that would help athletes during their school careers and for five years after.
- Players under the College Athlete Bill of Rights would be allowed to sign with agents, securing group-licensing fees, which would allow them to be paid for video-game likenesses, a huge source of revenue.
- Players also would be allowed to transfer from one school to another without penalty, and could enter a draft without losing their eligibility.
- Colleges would face mandated cost controls, including the reduction of salaries for coaches and administrators, before dropping sports.
Other proposals covering aspects of college sports and athletes’ rights are before Congress, so support may coalesce along and across party lines.