Taking on the NCAA, finally giving Athletes Equality

In today’s hyper political climate bills, media, talking points, and interests all seem to be very partisan between Left and Right, Democrat and Republican. But there is one issue that usually brings people from different sides together even though they may disagree with a certain team or school. That is sports! Sports and athletes from high school to the college ranks even the professional ranks brings family, neighbors, and communities together. It is a break from reality, work, and even politics on a daily basis.

However, there is a stark reality for athletes in the college ranks especially in the NCAA Division 1 and 2 realms. Recently in the State of California, Senate Bill 206 was passed in California by Governor Gavin Newsom on Sept. 30. Newsom’s SB206 will allow California-based college athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness beginning in 2023. The bill will not allow schools to start directly paying players, but, rather, will allow student-athletes to pick up endorsements, sponsorships or employment based on competing for the school.

Dozens of other states are considering similar legislation and coaches like Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski have added their names to a growing list of supporters for NIL bills for student-athletes.

Mark Walker (R-NC) who introduced a federal statute that would apply across every state, among others. Walkers’ Student Equity Act would bring above-board payments for name, image and likeness to college athletes at the national level.”All we’re saying is allow these student-athletes to have access to the free market like every other citizen does,” Walker said, adding that the NCAA has “refused” to come to the table with lawmakers.

Even though our candidate no longer support him, our State Senator Mitt Romney said “You know something is seriously awry,” Romney said, per The News & Observer. “The reality is Congress is going to act. We’re coming for you. We’re coming to help these athletes.”

Current NCAA rules forbid student-athletes from profiting off of their name, image or likeness in order to maintain eligibility as an amateur.

Our own candidate Ty Jensen for Utah’s 2nd Congressional District for Congress has already said “In my first 100 days in congress I will put forth a bill called the BALL Act or Balanced Athletic Leverage Legislation!” “I know that I of all people can get bipartisan supports that Sen Romney or Congressman Walker can, and with ease!” “I’m not trying to kill the NCAA, I’m just trying to make it fair for player/athlete so they have their integrity and means for themselves and future athletes.”

BALL Act (Balanced Athletic Leverage Legislation) – NCAA Sports

This act would give power to the player’s by giving them equal opportunity that their peers in the higher education system have by allowing them to no longer be student athletes, but by having them be student athletic employees. This part of legislation would give players access all sports including women’s sports teams via title 9 to be equally and fairly compensated by the states and higher education institutions and players shall retain their individual likeness in all forms of media and advertising as well as player names on jerseys. I personally see this as a human rights issue and a final end to our nation’s past history of segregation and Jim Crow laws. This legislation will allow these student athletic employees to draw and have work history in the form of a W-2 form or a 1099 to file taxes during January and April.

Jensen said that is it a Top 10 priority for him especially since he was a Student Assistant with Men’s Basketball here in Utah on the Coaching Staff side with both UVU – Utah Valley University/ UVSC – Utah Valley State College from fall 2003-06 and Southern Utah University in 2012-13. “Since I have been on the inside and see how staff and players alike run and operate, I feel that I have the best insight, especially when I was not paid a dime but put in hundreds if not thousands of hours to help my teams and schools.”

In Utah’s 2nd Congressional District there are five school. 3 NCAA Divsion 1 schools with the University of Utah (PAC 12), Southern Utah University (Big Sky), and Dixie State University (WAC). 1 NCAA Div 2 school in Westminster College (RMAC), and one Junior College in Snow College.

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