U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, on Wednesday introduced a bill to give college athletes greater ability to profit off their names, images and likenesses.

The Amateur Athletes Protection and Compensation Act of 2021 would:

  • Prohibit the NCAA, athletic conferences or schools from rendering an amateur intercollegiate athlete ineligible on the basis of entering into an agency or endorsement contract.
  • Allow student athletes to transfer schools at least once without being penalized.
  • Establish one set of rules to govern all college athletics, preempting any state or local law related to name, image and likeness (NIL).
  • Provide additional protection to athletes by requiring institutions to cover the health care costs related to athletic injuries or illness, as well as honor any grant-in-aid for the duration of the time it takes the athlete to finish their undergraduate degree.
  • Establish the Amateur Intercollegiate Athletics Corporation to create and enforce rules pertaining to NIL.
  • Protect athletes’ status as a student by making certain students will not be considered employees of their institutions, conference or a national amateur athletic association based on their participation in sports.

In introducing the bill, Moran mentioned the importance of having a national standard.

“It is no secret that college athletics have grown into an increasingly profitable, billion dollar industry, however the rules surrounding athlete compensation have not been modernized,” said Moran, who has a home in Manhattan. “In an attempt to fix this issue, nearly 30 states have introduced legislation on athlete compensation, which could lead to a confusing system of inconsistent state laws that would be cumbersome for schools and athletes to navigate.”

California became the first state to have a NIL law in the book when Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the Fair Pay To Play Act into law on Sept. 30, 2019. Since then, five other states have passed similar laws: Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska and New Jersey.

Last year, NCAA president Mark Emmert urged Congress to develop a standard after individual states began passing their own laws. Other Congressional proposals have occured since that time.

Moran chaired the commerce subcommittee where Emmert made the request.

“This bill strikes an appropriate balance as we work to empower amateur athletes while maintaining the integrity of college sports that we all know and love,” Moran said. “Athletics teach young men and women many valuable skills that serve them throughout their life, and it’s important to protect their ability to pursue an education while allowing them to capitalize on their name, image and likeness as a student athlete.”