Lawmakers Push for Change in College Athletics

March 18th, 2019 | by CollegeAD
Lawmakers Push for Change in College Athletics

Change in College Athletics
From various state legislators across the country to the United States Congress in Washington D.C., lawmakers over the past few months have taken an active role as they push for change in college athletics.

Washington State Rep. Drew Stokesbary floated House Bill 1084. The bill would not require schools or athletic departments to compensate student-athletes, but instead, allows for student-athletes to be compensated, or paid their fair market value for their services.

“The way the bill is written, it’s intentionally very open-ended and permissive,” Stokesbary told the Seattle Times.

On the national level, North Carolina Congressman Mark Walker is moving the ball forward as he pushes for change in college athletics by introducing a bill this week that would allow student-athletes to profit off of their name, image, and likeness. Walker’s bill aims for change by alerting the tax code by amending the definition of a qualified amateur sports organization.

The NCAA released a statement opposing Walker’s legislation, in part saying “This bill is unnecessary and may benefit only a small number of student-athletes and cause unintended consequences and negatively impact opportunities for all other college athletes.”

While Stokesbary and Walker hope to change the way the NCAA does business when it comes to compensating student-athletes, a pair of lawmakers in North Carolina have focused their efforts on pushing for change in college athletics by presenting new bills that would allow for schools to bring in additional revenue.

State law currently doesn’t allow for the general sale of alcohol at sporting events on campus. The bill, which will be introduced next week, aims to change that by allowing state colleges to sell beer and wine at games, should the institutions’ board of trustees sign off on the plan.

There are currently over 50 FBS schools that allow the sale of beer and wine at football games. The addition of alcohol sales offers schools the ability to create ever important self-generating revenue.

As public opinion continues to move in the favor of compensating student-athletes, and the NCAA remains reluctant to change, don’t be surprised if more lawmakers join the push for change in college athletics.

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