Lawmaker introduces ‘Fair Pay to Play’ bill

Lawmaker introduces ‘Fair Pay to Play’ bill
The bill, known as “Fair Pay to Play,” allows student athletes to profit off their names images or likeness and prohibit athletic associations from revoking a student’s athletes scholarship if they decide to do so. (Source: Josh Auzenne/WAFB-TV)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Collegiate athletes could make profit from their play if a bill is passed in Alabama.

State Sen. Kirk Hatcher, D-Montgomery, feels House Bill 150 gives back to student’s athletics.

The bill, known as “Fair Pay to Play,” allows student athletes to profit off their names images or likeness and prohibit athletic associations from revoking a student’s athletes scholarship if they decide to do so.

The bill will also require an annuity fund for student athletes who decline compensation.

“Not only are we talking about fairness to our student athletes, but it’s an opportunity for our universities to reinvest in themselves,” Hatcher said.

The bill differs from another bill presented in the State House titled House Bill 404.

House Bill 404 says higher education institutions are not allowed to unduly restrict students from taking compensation and that students cannot enter endorsements with brands or companies that sell nicotine products, alcohol, marijuana, adult entertainment or casino/ gambling.

The legislation also requires schools to conduct financial literacy and life skills workshops for the student athletes.

Former Alabama linebacker Gregory Gilbert was consulted about House Bill 150.

He views the bills as a support to students’ athletes, and says it’s just the right thing to do.

“We’re teaching them to be business-like individuals when your body and likeness becomes your main business,” Gilbert said.

Hatcher says it was also important the bill was fair to all players.

“We’re seeking to be sensitive to the time investment made by every player, so that each of these players are whole after their college experience,” Hatcher added

He says this conversation must be had in order to do right by the student athletes.

Currently, the bill is still in discussion, and Senator Hatcher also plans to introduce it in the state senate.

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