Sens. Cory Booker and Richard Blumenthal have introduced legislation that would drastically increase the rights of college athletes, USA Today reported.
The 61-page “College Athletes Bill of Rights,” “backs those changes with a variety of enforcement provisions that would be directed by a commission whose governing board would be appointed by the President and have subpoena power. It also would provide athletes and state attorneys general the right to sue for enforcement,” USA Today reported.
The bill would create the Commission on College Athletics, an enforcement body that could penalize the NCAA, conferences, universities and officials.
The bill aims to let college athletes earn money based on revenue surpluses they help generate and also give these athletes long-term healthcare.
The bill grants individual NIL rights – the right of athletes to earn money from their names, images and likenesses – group NIL rights and various freedoms to the student athletes.
These athletes would also be permitted to have endorsement deals that conflict with the schools’ contracts.
The bill is “the result of growing outrage with a failure to protect athletes’ health and safety and treat them fairly financially,” Blumenthal said. “Literal blood, sweat and tears of athletes have fueled a $14 billion industry with very little benefit to them — and a lot of harm.
“This bill of rights is a sweeping, comprehensive effort to protect their health, safety and wellness, as well as their educational opportunities and their financial well-being.”