The Pennsylvania Senate Monday approved new regulations allowing student-athletes to earn money and the NCAA is also expected to change its rules.

These actions come on the heels of a  U.S. Supreme Court ruling that NCAA regulations that prohibited athletes from deriving benefits beyond what was included in their athletic scholarships violated antitrust laws.

Scholarships traditionally cover the cost of tuition room and board, textbooks, and some other education-related expenses but the NCAA prohibited student-athletes from profiting off their name, image, or likeness.

The NCAA argued that its regulations were necessary to preserve the distinction between amateur and professional sports. The High Court unanimously disagreed in a decision rendered on June 21st.

In the wake of the decision, the NCAA is working to create new regulations that would be in line with High Court’s decision. Those regulations could be voted on by the NCAA’s Division I Board of Directors as soon as Wednesday.

There are six NCAA Division I institutions in the Greater Philadelphia area: Temple, Villanova, St. Joseph’s, La Salle, Drexel, and the University of Pennsylvania.  Division I institutions often derive significant revenue from their athletic programs, notably football and men’s basketball. However, the new stipulations would apply to student-athletes at colleges and universities throughout the commonwealth regardless of the level at which they compete.

As an example, Villanova basketball star Ryan Arcidiacono, who led his team to their 2016 NCAA championship, might have garnered thousands had the new rules been in effect when he was playing college ball.

Meanwhile, a number of states, including Pennsylvania, have drafted regulations that would allow intercollegiate athletes to profit off their names, images, and likenesses.

The Pa. Senate measure would allow collegiate athletes in the state to do so, subject to certain restrictions. The language was included in Senate Bill 381, a budget bill dealing with educational issues.

Sen. Robert ‘Tommy’ Tomlinson, (R-Bucks) was one of the co-sponsors of the measure. He noted that the stipulations are in line with those being developed in other states.

Meanwhile, a number of states, including Pennsylvania, have drafted regulations that would allow intercollegiate athletes to profit off their names, images, and likenesses.

“This critical legislation will empower student-athletes across the Commonwealth who compete in collegiate level athletics and ensure Pennsylvania’s colleges and universities do not face an unfair recruiting advantage as other states adopt their own rules in response to the court case,” he said. “I truly believe this legislation will enable these athletes to improve their lives, academically, athletically, and financially.”

Sen. Anthony Williams (D-Philadelphia/Delaware) was another co-sponsor of the measure. “Enacting this provision today not only gives Pennsylvania a competitive advantage over the 30 states which have not yet passed similar legislation but provides equity to student-athletes whose hard work enriches our commonwealth’s colleges and universities,” Williams said. “For the student-athletes from neighborhoods like mine, this presents an opportunity to make their lives, and those of their families and communities, much better. I look forward to building on this work together with my colleagues to ensure that all student-athletes are compensated fairly for their work.”

Under the current Pennsylvania regulations, student-athletes may accept endorsement opportunities, or derive income in other ways (such as operating a sports camp). They may not be compensated by the colleges or universities they are attending. Those institutions are prohibited from deducting the income the student-athletes derive from their scholarships.

Also, student-athletes are prohibited from endorsing certain products or services, including alcohol, casinos and other gambling outlets, tobacco products, prescription drugs, or any controlled, dangerous substance.

This article was republished from Delaware Valley Journal

Rick Woelfel is a long-time Philadelphia area writer and editor. 

One thought on “PA Senate votes to lift ban on student athlete earnings”

  1. I can support this legislation as long as the earnings are considered in the athletes FASFA applications. There is no reason why an athlete who may make a considerable sum from this type of activity should be eligible for government sponsored financial aid. I would even go further to add that since the use of the image, endorsement, etc., is rooted in professional recognition of the athlete’s activities as a member of the particular university then the Federal income tax rules could possibly be construed to mean that the scholarship the athlete received constitutes taxable compensation, and the university should be responsible for withholding Federal income tax as well as match the amount of FICA as well.

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