Rep. Jan Schakowsky, chairwoman of the House Commerce Subcommittee, is backing the College Athlete Bill of Rights crafted by a group of Democratic senators.
Schakowsky, D-Ill., was set Wednesday to announce her support for the legislative framework put forth by Sens. Corey Booker of New Jersey and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut last month.
The plan calls for college athletes to be permitted to earn money for their names, images and likenesses with “minimal restrictions,” and much more.
The senators also want to ensure for the athletes long-term medical coverage and treatment, enforceable medical standards, academic freedom and revenue sharing agreements with the NCAA and college conferences.
The Bill of Rights was backed by seven other senators, including Democrats Chris Murphy of Connecticut, a frequent NCAA critic, and vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris of California.
With Schakowsky's support, the College Athlete Bill of Rights could be used as the foundation for a future House bill.
"This framework will ensure that college athletes can receive equitable compensation, are protected by stronger health and safety standards, and can hold the NCAA to account when they fail them in any of these ways,” said Schakowsky, who supported Northwestern football players' attempt to unionize in 2015.
The NCAA is in the process of changing its rules to permit athletes to earn money off their names, images and likenesses for things like endorsements and appearances.
The association has asked for help from Congress to relieve pressure from state lawmakers. California, Florida, Colorado, Nebraska and New Jersey have already passed bills. Florida’s would take effect in 2021.
Federal lawmakers have said they intend to get involved but that is not likely to happen until after the election.
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida already introduced an NCAA-friendly bill that would shield the association from legal challenges to its name, image and likeness rules.
Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, an Ohio Republican and former Ohio State football player, has also said he is working on a bill related to college sports.
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