If Greensboro Representative Mark Walker of North Carolina gets his way, there will be massive changes coming to the college sports world.
Walker, a third-term congressman and member of the Republican House leadership, is calling for the NCAA to allow student-athletes to profit from their likeness by introducing a bill that would create opportunities for college athletes to legally seek compensation for their likeness. Walker plans to call this resolution the Student-Athlete Equity Act and will introduce it this month according to Brian Murphy of The News & Observer.
The NCAA has fought against the idea of allowing student-athletes to profit from their likeness in the past. Walker, a former college athlete himself, believes the current restrictions in place are at odds with the free market system.
“Signing on with a university, if you’re a student-athlete, should not be (a) moratorium on your rights as an individual. This is the time and the moment to be able to push back and defend the rights of these young adults,” said Walker.
In addition to his belief that the NCAA should allow student-athletes to profit from their likeness, Walker notes that neither the schools nor the NCAA would have to provide payment the student-athletes would command if they were able to commercialize themselves.
“They’ve had time to have their meetings,” Walker said. “Here’s the thing: We’re not asking the university, we’re not asking the NCAA to pay a single dollar into this. You’ve done your part offering a full scholarship. Just don’t restrict the rest of it.”