Texas Quarterback Sam Ehlinger has taken a supportive stance on the issue of college athletes being compensated for the use of their name, image or likeness.
Ehlinger shared a string of tweets Thursday that compared being a student-athlete to participating in an unpaid internship. He then linked to an article about the proposed bill that would require the NCAA to drop the ban on student-athletes getting paid for the use of their name. (RELATED: Texas Blows Away Georgia 28-21 In The Sugar Bowl)
Consider a full-time unpaid internship that requires 1-4 years of participation, with a minimum 40-hour work week. This internship generates millions of dollars for your company, and billions of dollars for the broadcasting companies that cover your industry.
— Sam Ehlinger (@sehlinger3) March 7, 2019
Republican Rep. Mark Walker of North Carolina is set to introduce his bill to Congress sometime next week. “Signing on with a university, if you’re a student athlete, should not be [a] moratorium on your rights as an individual,” Walker told The News And Observer. “This is the time and the moment to be able to push back and defend the rights of these young adults.”
According to Walker, 99.4 percent of student-athletes will never receive a paycheck from a professional sports team. “This is an earning opportunity for 99 percent of these student-athletes who will never have access to do something like this,” Walker said.
The current NCAA rule states that players cannot be paid anything over the amount it costs to attend the school itself.
“Allowing student-athletes to endorse commercial products would undermine the efforts of both the NCAA and its member schools to protect against the ‘commercial exploitation’ of student-athletes,” Judge Claudia Wilken wrote in her 2014 decision in the O’Bannon v. NCAA case. The O’Bannon case challenged the current NCAA blanket rule of no compensation.