College athletes get paid nothing. A Washington state lawmaker wants to change that
State Representative Drew Stokesbary (R-Auburn) has introduced a new bill that would allow college athletes to be compensated — by any party — for anything “up to the fair market value of services." They could also get an agent.
Neither practice is currently allowed under NCAA rules. As it stand right now, NCAA athletes are required to maintain “amateur” status — that means they can’t accept money from sponsors, get paid for appearances or autographs, or even profit off of schools selling their jerseys.
That’s especially felt in this state, home to the Pac-12’s highest paid head coach, UW’s Chris Petersen, who makes $4.875 million annually.
Under Stokesbary’s proposed bill, the state would view the NCAA’s regulations as a violation of Washington’s State Consumer Protection act, as well as state antitrust laws.
“Through this kind of patchwork of rules and inconsistent application of them, you’ve made it really hard for students to get any kind of fairness out of the deal,” Stokesbary said. “Their coaches are allowed to work for the highest bidder, yet the kids don’t have this ability.”
The Washington Legislature convenes Monday, January 14.
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