BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — On Beacon Hill, lawmakers discussed a bill that would allow college athletes to profit when their schools or the National College Athletic Association uses their name, image, or likeness.
The bill, S. 2454, An Act Relative To College Athlete Compensation, addresses the current reality—where thousands of jerseys can be sold with a student athlete's name, and the student won't see a sent.
The legislation was filed by State Sen. Barry Finegold, who told WBZ NewsRadio's Madison Rogers it's a matter of fairness and equity, as well as sending a message to the NCAA.
State Sen. Barry Finegold at a hearing on the bill Tuesday. (Madison Rogers/WBZ NewsRadio)
Finegold said the bill aims to help low-income and disadvantaged students who are disporportionately affected by the current policy.
"It's become an industry to itself," he said. "You have bowl games where schools loose money, but the people putting on these bowl games are actually making money. This needs to be more about the student athletes, and about the universities."
Unlike the House bill filed in November, Sen. Finegold's bill doesn't compensate student athletes for playing; it just lets them profit off their name, image, and likeness.
"I feel that if you get a scholarship, that is a fair trade for going to a school," he said.
But the bill would also make it so a student athlete's scholarship couldn't be taken away if they sign with a professional team.
"Someone should be able to stay in school and be able to be drafted by the Celtics, the Patriots, the Bruins, the Red Sox, and be able to graduate from a college or university," Finegold said. "Because most of these athletes, at the end of the day, don't make it in professional sports, and they've given up a degree."
California became the first state to pass a similar bill last year.
WBZ NewsRadio's Madison Rogers (@_madisonrogers) reports