Earlier this month, the Governor of Georgia Brian Kemp signed a bill allowing athletes to take advantage out of their name, image and likeness. Several states have signed similar bills, including ones like Florida, Alabama, and South Carolina, among others.
This week, Senators Chris Murphy and Bernie Sanders introduced a bill to Congress called the University Athletes Organizing Right Act, which would allow some varsity athletes to unionize and classify themselves as employees.
here is a summary of legislation:
“College athletes are already treated like employees: they provide a valuable service in return for compensation in the form of scholarships and grants that they lose if they do not perform the work specified by their colleges.” . this distinction is even clearer, as varsity athletes continued to work and perform while their peers were often not on campus.
This would give athletes the right to organize and bargain collectively.
After the bill was tabled, the NCAA issued a statement condemning the bill, saying the new legislation “would directly undermine the purpose of the college.”
– Inside the NCAA (@InsidetheNCAA) May 27, 2021
This question is a bit thorny because at the federal level there is no law on name, image and likeness yet. Athletic’s Nicole auerbach reported that the NCAA Council may discuss the matter at its June meeting to set out general rules.
If legislation like University Athletes Organizing Right Act has passed, some college sports like football would change drastically. College football would become more of a minor league sports system containing professionals, not student-athletes as we are used to.