With the NCAA dealing with legislature from California that would allow student-athletes to benefit off their name, image and likeness, the governing body of college sports will now be forced to monitor a situation happening in Brooklyn.
Senator Kevin Parker proposed a bill earlier this week, which was initially similar to the California Senate Bill 206. In Parker’s original proposal, it would give athletes the ability to sell the rights to their own names, images and likenesses. However, there’s since been a stronger pivot toward rebellion against NCAA ideals.
On Wednesday, through ESPN, Parker let it be known he added an amendment that would rock the NCAA to its very core. If passed, it would require college athletic departments to give a 15% share of annual revenue to student-athletes.
“It’s about equity,” Kevin Parker said. “These young people are adding their skill, talent and labor to these universities. … You don’t need the shortcuts and the end-arounds because now we’re providing some real support for these student-athletes.”
According to the senator out of New York, the revenue would be equally split among all student-athletes who compete for whatever university. This obviously tilts away from pure capitalism, as the quarterback for the Texas Longhorns brings the university more money than the third-string shortstop on the baseball team.
Nevertheless, if the bill made it all the way through without any other amendments, those with more earning power would be able to do so through the name, image and likeness portion of the legislature.
The Senator also admitted to ESPN that the California bill inspired him to get this proposal moving, something people involved with SB206 hoped would happen.
Andy Schwarz is an economist and core member of NCAA play-get-paid alternative HBL. He is one of the California bill’s sponsors.
“I have been amazed at how deftly Senator Skinner and Senator Bradord have navigated the sausage machine of legislative politics to get SB206 to the Governor’s desk. It very rewarding to have been part of the process. I hope Governor Newsom sees his signature as a chance to cement his place at the vanguard of a movement,” Schwarz told me.
“I am just as encouraged to see other states pick up the baton as well. It’s about time states recognize their own citizens’ rights have been usurped by the college sports cartel operating out Indianapolis.”
The bill coming from the New York senator is the first of its kind. No other bill has been proposed in which it – in theory – would demand schools to directly pay its athletes. A cynic could argue, though, the new amendment added could be used as a bargaining chip as it goes through proper government channels. Set the bar very high, even if unreachable in obtaining, simply hoping for at least something in return.
Furthermore, this doesn’t account for those in office who will believe this is an educational, not political, issue. One, in their eyes, outside their jurisdiction. There will also be issue of whether the messenger faces backlash – not for his ideas, but for his previous issues. Parker has been at the center of several controversies over the years, including a now infamous “kill yourself” tweet and being convicted on misdemeanor charges following an assault on a photographer.
The merits of a bill should obviously be separated from the actions of the person proposing it, but 24-7 news coverage will unlikely allow it to be the case.
A college sports loving nation should expect a response from the NCAA at some point. Maybe not yet, as it’s early in the legislature game, but the governing body did pen a “Dear Mr. Governor” letter in reaction to the California bill, hoping to impede evolution.
“The NCAA Board of Governors sent a letter Wednesday to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, making clear its belief that this bill would wipe out the distinction between college and professional athletics and eliminate the element of fairness that supports all of college sports.”
Parker claims he has one other senator on board for this bill. He will also make this a priority when the legislature reconvenes at the start of the year.
It’s worth noting the NCAA has commissioned a working group of university presidents, athletic directors and conference commissioners to look at ways the organization can grow and evolve. Those findings are expected to be revealed in October.
Senator Parker is still looking for a co-sponsor for his bill. In turn, this story is in its infancy developmental stage.
Joseph Nardone has been covering college basketball for nearly a decade for various outlets in a variety of ways. You can follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone.
Also, be sure to follow the ClutchPoints NCAA Facebook page for more great college basketball discussion.