The New York Collegiate Athletic Participation Compensation Act, introduced earlier this week by State Senator Kevin S. Parker, has already been amended to provide student-athletes a proposed 15% share of the annual ticket revenue generated from each school’s sporting events. The bill, initially described as legislation comparable to the California legislation formerly known as the Fair Pay To Play Act, now makes New York the first state to propose legislation that would create direct financial costs to colleges and universities in addition to providing student-athletes the opportunity to benefit from the marketing of their name, image and likeness without impacting their ability to continuing participating in college athletics.

Unlike the California legislation, which received unanimous support from the California Assembly and Senate and currently awaits Governor Newsom’s potential signature, the New York bill contains two additional proposals that are not contained in the California legislation. The two additional proposals are:

  • Each college shall establish an injured athlete fund to provide a student-athlete who suffers a career ending or long-term injury during a game or practice with compensation upon his or her graduation. The amount of such compensation shall be determined by the department. Such qualifying injury shall be verified by a health care provider.
  • At the conclusion of each school year, each college shall take Fifteen percent of the revenue earned from ticket sales to all athletic events and divide and pay such amount to all student-athletes.

Senator Parker commented on his proposal, “It’s about equity. These young people are adding their skill, talent and labor to these universities. … You don’t need the shortcuts and the end-arounds because now we’re providing some real support for these student-athletes.”

Unlike the California measure, whose advocates argued would not add any specific costs to university athletic budgets or cause universities to suffer any financial hardships, the New York proposal does create very specific and direct university costs.

While authorizing student athletes to use their unique position to secure financial rewards from their name, image and likeness while still performing at an amateur level,

the direct costs to colleges and universities could be substantial.

In fact, the proposed legislation would require financial contribution of some undefined amount to provide direct financial compensation to student-athletes upon graduation for career ending or long-term injury as well as requiring 15% of the annual gross revenue received by schools from ticket sales to be shared by all athletes. According to Senator Parker, this additional pool of revenue would be split equally among all student-athletes who compete. Similarly, with the State of California, the proposed legislation would not become effective until January 1, 2023.

Jackson Lewis’ Collegiate and Professional Sports Practice Group will continue to monitor this proposed New York legislation as well as other legislation that is either discussed or introduced around the country. Please feel free to reach out to any member of the Collegiate and Professional Sports Practice Group with questions.

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Photo of Gregg E. Clifton Gregg E. Clifton

Gregg E. Clifton is a Principal in the Phoenix, Arizona, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He is Co-Leader of the Collegiate and Professional Sports Practice Group and serves as the editor of the firm’s sports law blog.

Mr. Clifton has extensive experience in…

Gregg E. Clifton is a Principal in the Phoenix, Arizona, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He is Co-Leader of the Collegiate and Professional Sports Practice Group and serves as the editor of the firm’s sports law blog.

Mr. Clifton has extensive experience in the collegiate and professional sports world. He has advised numerous professional franchises on general labor and employment issues, including Title III ADA regulatory compliance and wage and hour issues. He serves as lead counsel for several Major League Baseball teams in their salary arbitration matters and has represented NCAA and NAIA collegiate clients regarding rules compliance, investigatory matters and in disciplinary hearings. In addition, he has handled Title IX investigations and compliance issues for NCAA and NAIA member institutions. Mr. Clifton has also worked extensively in the area of agent regulation and enforcement in professional and college sports and regularly provides counsel on issues relating to NCAA and NAIA amateurism issues and athlete eligibility questions. He has also served as an expert witness in matters involving sports agents’ work and responsibilities, as well as athlete compensation issues.

Prior to joining Jackson Lewis, he spent six years as Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Team Sports for Gaylord Sports Management. He also served as President of the Athlete and Entertainment Division for famed sports attorney Bob Woolf’s firm, Woolf Associates, in Boston.

Mr. Clifton began his career as an Associate at Jackson Lewis where he focused his practice on traditional labor law. He continues to counsel clients in the areas of collective bargaining negotiations, representation cases, arbitrations and National Labor Relations Board matters.

Mr. Clifton frequently serves as an expert speaker to law schools, including Harvard University, Boston College, Hofstra University and Arizona State University, and bar associations regarding sports law issues, including agent regulation and salary arbitration. He is also often cited as an expert source in national news media for his commentary and opinion on legal issues in sports.