Oklahoma Democrats introduce legislation to allow student-athletes to be compensated


OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KNWA) โ€“ย An Oklahoma Democrat has introduced legislation to allow collegiate athletes to be compensated for their image or likeness.

State Rep. Mickey Dollens (D-OKC) introduced legislation that would allow Oklahoma collegiate student-athletes to be compensated.

Dollensโ€™ legislation, dubbed โ€˜Fair Pay to Play,โ€™ would adopt the Olympic model for compensating athletes.

Olympians are allowed to secure endorsement deals, get paid for signing autographs, and be compensated for their name and image.

โ€œThe Olympic model would allow the NCAA to keep up the spirit of amateurism,โ€ said Dollens who participated as both a Division 1 football player and as a member of the U.S. bobsled team. โ€œIt would also allow college student-athletes an opportunity to get paid at no additional cost to the school.โ€

State Rep. Monroe Nichols, a former Division 1 football player who has introduced similar legislation in the past has signed on as a co-author of Dollensโ€™ bill.

โ€œThere may have been a time that a scholarship was adequate compensation for the revenue a student-athlete brings an institution,โ€ Nichols said. โ€œThat time has passed. College athletics is a multi-billion dollar industry built on the work and sacrifice of student-athletes. If we in Oklahoma believe collegiate athletes have the right to participate in the free market, then we need to pass a bill in the legislature that embodies the Olympic model.โ€

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