DES MOINES, Iowa - Two Iowa state senators introduced bipartisan legislation Tuesday that would allow college athletes to profit from the commercial use of their names, images and likenesses.
Democratic Senator Nate Boulton of Des Moines and Republican Senator Brad Zaun of Urbandale filed the bill that bars universities from preventing student-athletes from gaining financially from their names, images and likenesses.
The bill also allows universities to require money obtained by student-athletes to be placed in a trust that cannot be accessed until the athlete is no longer eligible to compete in college athletics.
Boulton says the bill is a first attempt to deal with one of many issues facing the NCAA, which he's highly critical of. "We've seen the NCAA model run through a lot of red lights so far about working itself out," said Boulton. "We've seen court cases. We've seen decisions. We've seen a National Labor Relations Board decision come out. And the NCAA has been very slow to react to those things."
Senator Zaun says there is already big money being made off of college athletes. "The jersey sales and the promotions at grocery stores and the billboards, and the list goes on and on," said Zaun. "And to me this is just about fairness."
Further, Boulton says the bill is a reaction to all the money flowing into college sports, both in and around the NCAA. "We've got now sports wagering that includes college athletics," Boulton said. "We have all the marketing systems that exist around it, and licensing and broadcast rights. And yet the compensation for the athlete has been dictated to the athlete."
Boulton acknowledged that one complaint has been that more talented and high profile athletes would prosper if allowed to make money off themselves, while other athletes was flounder. He specified that the senators' bill does not prevent teams from collectively bargaining for profit.
Similar legislation is now being considered by state legislatures across the country.
California passed a law last September that lets college athletes profit from their names, images, and likenesses.
That bill will go into effect in 2023 in order to allow to allow California’s colleges and universities, and the NCAA ample time to prepare for the sweeping changes.
(Image: State Senator Nate Boulton left, and State Senator Brad Zaun, right)
Both Senators were guests of the Jeff Angelo Show on WHO Radio