Where (and when) are college athletes set to earn compensation? 

Amid the NCAA’s surprise announcement, multiple states are following in California’s footsteps to pay athletes 
By: | November 1, 2019
As the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) starts looking into college athlete compensation, multiple states are considering paying student athletes similar to California. gettyimages.com: miodrag ignjatovic

The NCAA plans to allow college athlete compensation off the use of their names, images and likeness. The announcement came after California passed a law that will let players strike endorsement deals and hire agents by 2023, reported The New York Times.

Democratic presidential hopeful Cory Booker pledges to extend California’s law across the U.S., Politico reported. The New Jersey senator’s plan would also require colleges to provide lifetime scholarships to athletes already with scholarships who have played on a team for at least two years.

Minnesota, New York and South Carolina may also soon make similar laws on paying student athletes, and a proposal Florida has the backing of Gov. Ron DeSantis, reported Panama City News Herald. Georgia recently started exploring college athlete compensation as well because it would put that state’s schools at a recruiting disadvantage if Florida’s measure passed, the News Herald added.  


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Meanwhile, a North Carolina senator plans to introduce legislation that would tax paying student athletes, reported WBTV. “If college athletes are going to make money off their likenesses while in school, their scholarships should be treated like income,” the senator tweeted.

The right to unionize?

The National Labor Relations Board plans to make an official rule on whether private colleges and universities must treat graduate-student teaching assistants as employees with the right to unionize. But the same can’t be said for college athletes, University Business reported.


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Any unionization rule will not likely impact college athletes because the number of students who play truly revenue-generating sports at private schools is small, Steven Suflas, a labor lawyer who represents management, told UB. The board has also been reluctant to address that issue because athletes have lost every court case in which they’ve sought the right to unionize as campus employees, he added.