WASHINGTON D.C. – Utah’s Sen. Mitt Romney believes there is a way to solve inequity in college sports.
On Thursday, Sen. Romney and Connecticut’s Sen. Chris Murphy (D) are part of a bipartisan group that will explore the issue of compensating college athletes.
The group will give a forum for athletes and experts to meet with lawmakers.
Romney says they will discuss how to solve inequity in college sports without jeopardizing its integrity.
“It’s not fair for student-athletes, especially those coming from low-income families, to give so much time and energy to their sport without any kind of compensation,” Romney says.
Sen. Murphy says college-athletes are being used as commodities.
“The majority of executives and coaches who are getting rich off college athletics are white, while the majority of the players at the big-time sports programs are black. This is a civil rights issue, and I’m glad to launch this bipartisan working group to fix the inequities in this broken system,” Murphy says.
Sen. Marco Rubio, another member of the group says Congress must address this important issue.
“Having 50 different state laws for compensating student-athletes on their name, image, likeness would result in chaos and endless litigation,” Rubio says.
The formation of this group comes a few months after California passed a law allowing college athletes to make money from endorsements.
The law, “Fair Pay to Play Act,” was passed in September. The law has spurred the NCAA to begin writing rules to govern how college athletes could make a profit.
California’s law does not take effect until 2023.
Utah quarterback and Heisman hopeful Tyler Huntley told the Salt Lake Tribune that he is in favor of the law.
“For sure, just ’cause we work so hard that sometimes we don’t get in return what we put in,” Huntley said. “That would be a way that we would feel like we would get rewarded a little bit for what we do,” Huntley says.
In addition to Senators Romney, Murphy, and Rubio, the group includes David Perdue (R-GA), and Cory Booker (D-NJ).