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

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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KNWA) – 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.

Dollens’ legislation, dubbed ‘Fair Pay to Play,’ 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.

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

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 Dollens’ bill.

“There may have been a time that a scholarship was adequate compensation for the revenue a student-athlete brings an institution,” Nichols said. “That 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.”

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