Athlete Endorsements, Senator Introduces Bill
The menu of options for how Congress may reshape college sports grew again Wednesday with the introduction of a new federal bill that creates new protections and opportunities for college athletes while clearly defining them as students rather than employees.
Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) introduced legislation Wednesday afternoon that would allow athletes to sign endorsement deals in the future with some restrictions on what types of deals they could enter. The bill, if passed, would also increase the medical coverage that many of the wealthiest athletic departments have to provide for their athletes and establish rules that would allow players to transfer to new schools and enter professional drafts without losing eligibility.
Moran's bill is one of a handful of Congressional proposals to emerge since NCAA president Mark Emmert and others asked Congress for help in creating a uniform, national rule to govern how athletes make money in the future.
If Moran's bill is passed, athletes would be able to hire representation and sign endorsement deals. The athletes would not be allowed to endorse products during or immediately before and after team events. Schools, conferences, and associations such as the NCAA would also be allowed to prohibit athletes from signing endorsement deals that go against an organization's student code of conduct. Athletes would be required to report all endorsement contracts to their school within a week of signing them, and recruits would need to provide their future school with copies of any endorsement deals that they signed before starting college.