Maryland lawmakers OK college athlete endorsement bill

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland lawmakers aren’t waiting on the NCAA or Congress to allow college athletes to earn money from endorsements.

“Right now on every campus in America, any college student who is not an NCAA athlete has the right to earn money in any legal way that they want but that is not the case for NCAA athletes,” said Sen. Justin Ready a Carroll County Republican who sponsored the bill.

The Maryland Senate unanimously passed legislation Tuesday. The House passed a similar measure earlier this month. The legislation still needs a final vote by the other chamber for lawmakers to send legislation to Gov. Larry Hogan.

The Jordan McNair Safe and Fair Play Act is named after the former University of Maryland offensive lineman who died in 2018 after suffering from heatstroke at a team workout. It would require athletic departments to implement guidelines to prevent, assess, and treat serious sports-related conditions.

“The NCAA itself has asserted that is has no duty to protect athletes from injuries or guarantee an athlete medical coverage for sports related injuries,” said Del. Brooke Lierman, a Baltimore Democrat who sponsored the House bill. “And it has not held university athletic departments responsible for failures to ensure safety and well-being.”

Maryland would join several other states that have approved laws to allow athletes to be compensated for use of their name, image or likeness.

NCAA President Mark Emmert told The Associated Press this week he hopes the NCAA will have uniform national rules before next football season.

The NCAA is looking for help from Congress in the form of a federal law to prevent schools from competing under a hodgepodge of different regulations.

WTOP’s Luke Lukert contributed to this story. 

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This article was written by WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters and republished with permission. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today.

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