A Greensboro-based politician is introducing a bill that would allow student-athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness.
Rep. Mark Walker is proposing the Student-Athlete Equity Act next week to revise the definition of a qualified amateur sports organization in the tax code. The bill is not intended to pay college athletes but does allow them to benefit off their likeness.
The piece of federal legislation intends to "amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to prohibit qualified amateur sports organizations from prohibiting or substantially restricting the use of an athletes names, image, or likeness, and for other purposes."
"Signing an athletic scholarship with a school should not be a moratorium on your rights to your name, image, and self-worth," Walker said. "We have a plan to fix college sports without asking the NCAA or our universities to pay a dollar. After nearly two years of speaking with players and thought leaders, we will be introducing the Student-Athlete Equity Act next week."
Walker will introduce the bill right before the start of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, which begins March 19.
In a News & Observer op-ed last year, Walker wrote: "The current student-athlete model prohibits 500,000 college athletes from having financial rights to use their name while allowing an unrestrained, tax-exempt organization to monetize their talent to fill stadiums, sell memorabilia and sign multi-billion dollar contracts."
Walker played sports at Trinity Baptist College in Jacksonville, Fla.