Rubio backs bill to take national approach to paying college athletes

File photo
File photo (The University of Michigan Official Athletics)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Warning about a “patchwork” of laws in different states, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., announced legislation Thursday that would require the NCAA to put in place rules that would allow college athletes to get paid for their names, images and likenesses.

Rubio made the announcement less than a week after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill designed to allow Florida college athletes to receive compensation.

Other states, including California, have passed or considered similar measures.

Rubio’s proposal would take a national approach, requiring the NCAA to put in place rules by June 30, 2021, that would allow athletes to be compensated.

“As states continue to pass laws determining how college athletes can be compensated for their name, image, and likeness, it is clear that a patchwork of 50 state laws would be devastating to college sports,” Rubio said in a prepared statement.

The bill DeSantis signed last Friday establishes rights for college athletes and schools and allows students to have professional representation through agents licensed by the state or attorneys in good standing with The Florida Bar.

As states have considered legislation, the NCAA also has moved forward with a compensation proposal that was sent to member schools in April, with input expected by October.