Rep. Drew Stokesbary revives effort to allow college athletes to receive fair compensation

Rep. Drew Stokesbary, R-Auburn, is reviving his effort to allow college athletes to receive fair compensation for the use of their name, image and likeness.

Last January, the 31st District lawmaker introduced House Bill 1084, the first piece of state legislation in the country that would have permitted college athletes to be paid. This year, Stokesbary is offering a new version of HB 1084 that mirrors California's “Fair Pay to Play Act,” which was signed into law last year. The new version of the bill is scheduled to be heard in the House College and Workforce Development Committee on Tuesday, Jan. 28 at 1:30 p.m.

Under California's new law, college athletes will have the opportunity to hire agents and sign endorsement deals beginning in 2023.

“It's time for Washington to treat its student-athletes like all other students,” said Stokesbary. “Only student-athletes are prohibited from receiving fair compensation for their services. All other college students, including those on scholarship, are routinely compensated for their skills, and they are celebrated for it. The NCAA has been using its monopoly power to force student-athletes to sign away the rights to their name, image and likeness. That must end.”

Late last year following the passage of the Fair Pay to Play Act, the NCAA Board of Governors announced it would modify its rules by 2021 to give student-athletes “the opportunity to benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness in a manner consistent with the collegiate model.”

Stokesbary noted the necessity of bills like HB 1084 in continuing to apply pressure to the NCAA.

“One year ago, the NCAA was refusing to change its rules and Congress was showing no interest in this issue,” he added. “Because of legislative action being taken in states like Washington and California, that is changing. However, more states must continue pushing for reform to ensure the NCAA follows through on its promises.”

The 2020 legislative session began Jan. 13 and is scheduled to run for 60 consecutive days.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov