NCAA Decision Could Bring Legislative Proposals in Nebraska

Nebraska State Senators Megan Hunt and Ernie Chambers (Photos courtesy of the Nebraska State Legislature)
October 29, 2019 - 4:30pm

In a shift in policy that could change the face of amateur athletics, the NCAA says it will begin the process of allowing college athletes to profit from the use of their name, image, and likeness.


Ernie Chambers, a Nebraska state senator who has been an open advocate for paying college athletes since 1981, said the move is a small step in the right direction. But he said it could also cause inequality for players at universities like the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

“I wouldn’t be in favor of a program where certain players are allowed to benefit financially, but the rest whose names are not sellable will get nothing,” Chambers said.

Chambers says California’s recent “Fair Pay to Play” Act most likely prompted the N-C-A-A to adopt the measures due to the state’s large influence.

“It was better to take what California suggested, which is not the whole roll, than to allow something that I would have in mind, to have a good chance of being adopted,” Chambers said.

Chambers said ideally, he would like to see players paid equally for their work, so players who are not well-known are treated the same as higher-profile college athletes.

Chambers said he is considering proposing a bill, but he is waiting to see if there are new developments.

Following the NCAA’s announcement, Megan Hunt, another Nebraska state senator, said she will be proposing a Nebraska “Fair Pay to Play” bill in the next legislative session.

Hunt said her version of the bill would ensure players will have the right to contract if they wish and protect athletes from having their scholarships revoked if they receive compensation from their own image.

“I support the legislation that Senator Chambers has done throughout the years to treat college players as state employees to give them actual financial compensation in a very fair and equal way,” Hunt said.

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