Pay plan proposed for Minnesota college athletes

A Minnesota lawmaker wants college athletes in the state to be able to hire agents and make money from endorsements.

Republican Sens. Paul Gazelka and Roger Chamberlain
Sen. Roger Chamberlain at a press conference in April.
Tim Pugmire | MPR News

Sen. Roger Chamberlain, R-Lino Lakes, announced Wednesday that he plans to introduce legislation next year that mirrors the first-in-the nation law recently enacted in California.

“It’s just a matter of fairness,” Chamberlain said.

Under the proposal, student athletes could earn compensation for the use of their names, images or likenesses without putting their scholarships at risk. They could also obtain professional representation from agents or lawyers for help with endorsement contracts. Chamberlain said the measure would prevent what he views as the exploitation of student athletes.

“Whether you’re a division one, two or three this is money making, and it’s entertainment, and people are getting wealthy off it,” he said. “So, the NCAA will not like it because the bill basically bars them from taking any action against the university or college or athlete for receiving compensation.”

Chamberlain said he sees his proposal as a compromise between the unionization and direct-pay proposals that have been raised around the country in recent years.

As currently written, Chamberlain’s bill has an effective date of Jan. 1, 2024.

Earlier this month, DFL Gov. Tim Walz commented on the California law enactment, saying he was open to looking at the issue here.

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