The NCAA has had enough with Congress, especially when it comes to the Murphy-Sanders bill.
The new bill, which was proposed on Thursday, is called the College Athletes Right to Organize Act. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), along with Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), Andy Levin (D-Mich.) and Lori Trahan (D-Mass.) introduced this legislation in the House as well.
The is Congress’ latest proposal to NCAA rules regarding student-athletes’ ability to make money while in school. Most of the others, however, are geared toward name, image and likeness. This is the first one that wants to make student-athletes employees of a school.
“College athletes are students and not employees of their college or university. This bill would directly undercut the purpose of college: earning a degree,” the NCAA said in a statement. “The NCAA and its member schools support student-athletes through scholarships – many of which cover their full cost of education debt free – and numerous other benefits. NCAA members also are committed to modernizing name, image and likeness rules so student-athletes can benefit from those opportunities, but not become employees of their school.
“We will continue to work with members of Congress to focus on issues that align with our priorities. But turning student-athletes into union employees is not the answer.”
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney has always been against student-athletes being considered employees. He first spoke about it in March of 2014.
“As far as professionalizing college athletics, first of all college athletics would go away,” Swinney said at the time. “I’m a thousand percent against that because we have enough entitlement in this country as it is and it totally devalues an education. It just blows my mind when they don’t even want to quantify an education.”
Swinney again spoke on the matter to ESPN in May of 2019. And said it is a complicated issue. He basically said in the interview, if everyone wants to make them employees, then they are no longer student-athletes and they have to be treated like the rest of the university’s employees.
“The CEO of Delta makes a lot of money, too, and he has a lot of people that help him be successful. What’s the average income in this country? $45,000? If we really want to professionalize it, let’s pay them $80,000. Let’s pay them $100,000. But they’ve got to pay taxes. They’ve got to pay for college. They’ve got to pay rent. They’ve got to pay for their meals. They pay for their tutors. That’s the real world. You can’t have it both ways. It’s a complicated issue.”
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