Five US senators joined Thursday in reintroducing legislation that would dramatically change the compensation and treatment of athletes at major college sports programs. It also places new annual reporting requirements on schools to comply with Title IX, the federal law that prohibits gender discrimination in educational programs.
The bill, retitled the “College Athletes Bill of Rights,” was introduced in late December 2020 by Sen. Cory Booker, DN.J. and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. equal to the measure introduced. At the time, Congress was winding down a session between year-end spending bills and the need to pass Covid-19 mitigation measures, so it was understood the measure needed to be brought up again.
This time, Booker and Blumenthal are joined by three other Democrats: Brian Schatz, Hawaii; Ron Wyden, Ore., and Alex Padilla, California.
However, since states began passing laws allowing athletes to make money through the use of name, image, and likeness (NIL) throughout the Congressional conversation about college sports, Republicans’ interest in the legislation has been limited almost entirely to authentication issues. Connected to NIL.
On Wednesday, Sens. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., and Joe Manchin, DW. Va., Announced seeking input From college-sports stakeholders on legislation related to NIL. They did not mention the broader changes pursued by Democrats, many of whom introduced a bill in May 2021 that would make college athletes at public schools employees of the schools and give them the right to bargain collectively.
The A new iteration of the Senate bill The most controversial concept was dropped from the December 2020 version, a provision requiring revenue sharing between schools and athletes. However, Thursday’s 69-page measure keeps almost all of the other original concepts, all backed up by an oversight commission, and the right of any athlete to bring a federal civil lawsuit if they believe the rules are being violated.
The reform also includes a new section called “Right to Title IX Equity,” which establishes a series of annual requirements for schools to evaluate their compliance with the gender-equity law in athletics, “using all relevant measures,” and publishing. This evaluation of the school website.
The NCAA would “permanently bar” from college sports anyone who “knowingly provides misleading information or causes errors with intent to influence” the required Title IX evaluation.
An ongoing series by USA Today finds that despite tremendous gains over the past five decades, many colleges and universities are not in compliance with Title IX and women are struggling for equity.
Down to 50:Colleges are still not in compliance with the landmark Title IX law
Odds:Colleges do not offer the same benefits to male and female athletes
Appeal:The state of Michigan asked the Supreme Court to take up the Title IX swimming case
The new bill maintains a provision from the original version that prevented a school from dropping a team “when all other options to reduce the costs of the athletic program, including reducing coach salaries and administrative and facilities costs, are not feasible.”
Among the provisions originally covered in the December 2020 version, the bill introduced Thursday includes:
►Federal codification of athletes’ rights to monetize NIL through endorsements and other activities, including group licensing. Schools cannot “prohibit or discourage” an athlete from wearing shoes of their choice in mandatory team activities “unless the footwear contains lights, reflective fabric or poses a health hazard.” It allows athletes to have endorsement deals with shoe and apparel companies that conflict with schools’ contracts.
►Establishment of a medical trust fund that will assist athletes with health care costs related to injuries, including head injuries, during their college careers.
In this version of the bill, schools would also be responsible for helping their athletes in the later years of their careers, with the broader trust fund money coming from annual payments required by the NCAA or any athletic association, including a conference. Annual athletics revenue exceeds $200 million. The trust fund receives a total of $50 million each year.
►A set of academic protections for athletes, anyone who receives an athletic scholarship for an academic year generally must be offered the scholarship at that school until they receive an undergraduate degree from that school.
There are also provisions that say a school “shall not attempt to discourage” an athlete from “selecting a course or academic major of their choice”; Retaliate against a college athlete based on any major course selection.
Additionally, the bill also states that schools may not impose restrictions on athletes’ speech that are more stringent than those imposed on non-athletes.