State lawmaker proposes bill to compensate college athletes after they graduate

Posted at 6:56 PM, Aug 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-02 21:07:21-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — Ticket sales, merchandise and broadcasting helps bring in a lot of money for the NCAA, but one local lawmaker wants some of that cash to go toward the student athletes.

Some sports fans are divided on the issue behind paying college athletes, but William Anderson says it should be done.

"The colleges are making money. The NCAA is making money. The players should get money; either weekly, monthly or at the end of the year or the end of their careers," said Anderson

But there's a $1 million plan to help pay Tennessee student athletes once they graduate from a four-year public division 1 NCAA school.

"There are billions of dollars being made off of these student athletes and they don't get to see a dime for the most part," said Representative Antonio Parkinson.

Parkinson says under his legislation, NCAA division I athletic programs would deposit 1% of the money they make from ticket and merchandise sales, and TV licensing agreements into a trust fund for the athletes.

"How can we take care of our players at the end of their graduation and give them a start at life," Parkinson said.

Under the bill, players would be able to apply for a grant for up to $25 to $50,000 depending on the sport.

Sports fans like Roy Triplett says the legislation is a great start.

"They should at least get something, I don't know how much or how they're going to do it, but they need to get paid some kind of way," said Triplett.

Parkinson's bill says at the end of four years the 1% that the schools deposit in the first year would be returned to the school year after year.

Once the program becomes solvent enough to sustain itself, Parkinson says the universities will no longer need to cash in.

The bill also says, athletes who started their college careers at another Tennessee college or university will receive a prorated amount of a student athlete graduation grant.

If the bills passes, it will go into effect in July of 2020. Universities and colleges will start collecting the revenue from sales in March of 2021.