DC Council members introduce college athlete compensation bill

Legislation aimed at placing guidelines in D.C. around recent rule changes from the NCAA, which allow college student-athletes to be paid for endorsements or publicity deals, has been unveiled by six council members.

The College Student Athlete Compensation Amendment Act of 2021 was introduced Thursday by D.C. Council members Christina Henderson, Brianne Nadeau, Kenyan McDuffie, Trayon White, Janeese Lewis George and Brooke Pinto.



It aims to set guidelines for what student-athletes in D.C. can and can’t do as they navigate the new turf of being able to make money off their own names, images and likenesses.

“While college athletes will now have the chance to be paid for public appearances, autographs, or social media posts, there need to be basic safety measures around this activity,” at-large Council member Christina Henderson said.

“This legislation would prohibit pay for play, limit endorsements of products like alcohol or gambling, encourage universities to support financial literacy for their athletes, and update our local oversight of athlete agents who facilitate deals.”


D.C. would join 23 states that have facilitated name, image and likeness compensation opportunities for student-athletes with this legislation, according to a news release from Henderson.

It said the bill would “prohibit pay for play, performance, or enrollment at a particular school, as well as compensation for endorsements of restricted products like alcohol, tobacco, gambling, performance enhancing drugs, or adult-only entertainment.”

Universities would be permitted to require advance disclosure of endorsement deals and agent contracts to ensure compliance with their own rules as well.

The bill encourages schools to provide financial literacy education on topics such as budgeting, debt management and taxes.

The legislation would update existing athlete agent registration requirements with the city’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs to include agents working on new name, image and likeness deals as well.

Matt Small

Matt joined WTOP News at the start of 2020, after contributing to Washington’s top news outlet as an Associated Press journalist for nearly 18 years.

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