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PA lawmakers introduce bill to allow college athletes to get paid

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Two Pennsylvania lawmakers are introducing a bill that would allow college athletes in the state to get paid.

State Reps. Dan Miller and Ed Gainey, both Democrats from Allegheny County, said their legislation would mirror what California passed. In that state, college athletes would get paid if their likeness or image is used starting in 2023.

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"Athletes are forced to give up their rights and economic freedom while the colleges make hundreds of millions of dollars off of their talent and likeness," Miller said. "This bill would help to balance the scales by allowing them to sign endorsements, earn compensation, and hire agents to represent their interests in exchange for the work they do, and the benefit provided to the college."

"Our student-athletes give their blood, sweat and tears to a sport they love, while colleges, universities and corporations reap the financial benefits of their work," Gainey said. "If a college football head coach can earn $4.8 million for coaching ‘amateur student-athletes,' and if corporations can earn billions of dollars using the players' names and faces, then how is it not fair for them to earn some sort of financial compensation? The chances of a professional contract and thus a payout for all of their hard work and pain are tiny, and we owe it to them to level the playing field."

The law in Pennsylvania would be known as the "Fair Pay to Play Act" and would not apply to community colleges.