Push for amateur athlete pay continues
Sen. Randolph Bracy promotes bill that would pay amateur athletes.

Gov. DeSantis backs this play also.

A leading Democrat at the Capitol Wednesday made the case for pay for certain college athletes.

Sen. Randolph Bracy, discussed his bill (SB 582) that would allow football players and others to profit from endorsements.

House Democratic Leader Kionne McGhee is carrying the companion (HB 251) in the House.

Despite being championed by Democrats, these bills have momentum. Gov. Ron DeSantis, a former college baseball player, backs them. Bracy noted that during a media availability.

Bracy, a former college athlete at William and Mary, discussed the “much less glamorous reality of trying to make ends meet” for student athletes.

If “fairly compensated for the use of their name, image, and likeness” from the “astronomical revenues” they make for schools and the NCAA, Bracy believes the path will be easier for them.

“It’s only fair that they receive some of the profit they generate,” the Orlando Democrat said.

Indeed, many have noted the paradox between a collegiate sports industry that monetizes athletes and their likenesses and athletes who struggle for meal money.

Currently, players are prohibited from making money from autographs or otherwise profiting from their personas.

In 2017, a kicker from the University of Central Florida was also declared ineligible by making money off his YouTube channel.

The National College Players Association (NCPA), a nonprofit aimed at supporting college athletes’ rights to generate an income, added a statement Wednesday supporting a separate bill by GOP Rep. Chip LaMarca (HB 287) aimed at allowing athletes to profit off their likeness.

“Rep. LaMarca has shown a commitment to work with us to ensure that Florida college athletes finally receive the economic freedom and equal rights afforded to other students and Florida residents,” said Ramogi Huma, the group’s Executive Director.

LaMarca also thanked the NCPA for its support.

“The NCPA has a long history of advocating for the fair treatment of college athletes and is providing useful information based on its experience with the California bill. It’s important to include input from both the colleges and college athlete advocates as we push forward.”

The proposal is modeled after California, but the Sunshine State wouldn’t be the only state to join the Golden State’s efforts.

A New York state lawmaker said he’ll not only introduce a similar measure, but would also require New York schools to pay athletes from a share of annual revenue.

Those advocating on behalf of athletes point to lucrative revenue generated from college sports, along with massive money paid to coaching staffs while the players are left out.

Fewer than 2 percent of college athletes make it to the pros where they can cash in, according to the NCAA’s own stats. And all risk injury before even getting that far.

While the NCAA is voting on procedures to pay athletes, Bracy believes the proposal is “fraught with ambiguity.”

The NCPA also voiced its skepticism Wednesday, urging lawmakers not to back down.

“The NCAA did not follow through on its commitment to make a real proposal to solve this issue,” Huma argued.

“Instead, it now says its asking 1100 colleges across three divisions if they might consider making various proposals to be considered in 2021. The NCAA has once again demonstrated a refusal to treat its athletes fairly. The NCPA is encouraging lawmakers to ignore the NCAA’s stall tactics and take action against the NCAA’s unfair ‘Collegiate Model.’ ”


Background from South Florida correspondent Ryan Nicol was used in this post.

Staff Reports


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