Pay for College Athletes is about to Cross the Finish Line

The House today passed legislation to allow collegiate athletes to be compensated for the use of their image and likeness. The bill, sponsored by Representatives Leslie Herod and James Coleman, passed the House by a vote of 55-9 and now moves on to the Governor’s desk for final approval.

 “This bill sends a message to colleges across the country: student athletes have the right to share in the wealth that their presences bring into institutions of higher education,” said Rep. Herod, D-Denver. “Student athletes should be able to profit off of the brand they work so hard to create and cultivate. With the boom of the social media influencer profession, it’s more important than ever to give student athletes to earn from their likeness.”

“This bill will give College athletes the opportunity to earn while they learn,” said Rep. Coleman, D-Denver. “This is a huge win and we hope that the bill will bring equity to the world of collegiate sports and allow more student athletes to stay in school without fear of financial instability.”

Last October, the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Board of Governors announced their intention to permit student athletes to profit from the use of their likeness. Prior to the NCAA announcement, California passed a bill that banned in-state schools from preventing athletes from accepting compensation from advertisers. It also allows them to hire agents. Illinois, New York, Florida and now Colorado have introduced bills to allow for athletes to profit from their likeness. 

SB20-123 would prevent higher education institutions in Colorado from upholding any rule, requirement, standard or other limitation that prevents a student athlete of the institution from earning compensation from the use of the athlete’s name, image or likeness. The bill would also prevent collegiate institutions from providing prospective athletes with compensation prior to their signing. 

Additionally, athletes will be able to secure athletic and legal representation, and any compensation the athlete receives cannot affect their eligibility to participate in collegiate sports. Athletes who decide to enter into an endorsement deal would have to let the athletic directors of their institutions know 72 hours after the contract is signed.  

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