A pair of senators, Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, announced a bill to the House and Senate that would allow athletes to unionize, giving them the ability to organize and collectively bargain with their school or conference.
According to Murphy, this NCAA has historically prevented its athletes from receiving economic benefits, while treating them like “commodities”. If the bill were to be approved, athletes would become considered as employees of the university, meaning they would receive financial aid or other forms of compensation for their participation in collegiate athletics.
Several states have already passed bills that will allow athletes competing within the state to earn money for use of their name, image, and likeness by the NCAA. Mississippi, New Mexico, Alabama, and Florida have already announced that athletes in each state will be able to profit off of the use of their name-image-likeness beginning on June 1, 2021, while athletes California and Colorado will be able to profit beginning in 2023. In Florida, athletes would be allowed to benefit from their social media, as well as personal businesses and appearances, but only under certain guiding principles.