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New York becomes the third state to introduce student-athlete income legislation

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But a slight change in tactics could stall this effort quickly

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Baylor vs Syracuse Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

This week New York became the third state (following California and South Carolina) to introduce legislation to allow college athletes the opportunity to earn compensation from use of their likeness as Senator Kevin Parker from Brooklyn introduced NY State Senate Bill S6722.

California state senator Nancy Skinner’s “Fair Pay to Play” bill has already been sent to Governor Gavin Newsom for final approval. It’s expected that Governor Newsom will sign the bill, which puts the NCAA on the defensive. Despite threats to ban the California schools (Ed. Note: Not gonna happen) from NCAA competition there doesn’t seem to be a lot that Mark Emmert and his band of highly-paid administrators can do other than the usual NCAA tactic- tie up the case in courts.

What makes Parker’s bill different from Skinner’s is that he proposes going beyond creating a free market for endorsements, he wants all athletes to receive a cut of the revenue generated from ticket sales.

This difference is probably going to make it harder for Parker to garner as much support as we saw in California. When you allow athletes to make money from their likeness it doesn’t directly cut into the school’s revenue even though it would likely mean companies would give money directly to athletes rather than coaches or schools. Asking for all athletes to get an equal percentage of the 15% of ticket revenue is likely to have a much greater impact on P5 programs like the Syracuse Orange, but it could dramatically impact the bottom line at non-Division 1 schools. It’s easy to see that a bill like this would likely lead to schools cutting sports to cover the lost ticket revenue and that’s not what anyone wants to see.

The California bill has certainly given other legislators a template moving forward and I’m sure we’ll see other states following suit shortly. The pressure exerted on the NCAA and member schools will likely lead to some compromise on this issue. Even if athletes must leave earned income in a trust until they exhaust their eligibility there is hope that the restrictions on athletes will be removed in some capacity.

We’ll certainly keep an eye on this legislation as it moves forward.