New York State Senator Kevin S. Parker recently introduced his bill, the New York Collegiate Athletic Participation Compensation Act, to provide New York college student-athletes an opportunity to market their name, image, and likeness for economic benefit without affecting either their scholarship benefits or amateur status. Now, he has amended the bill a second time.

Initially introduced to mirror the recently passed California Senate Bill 206 (formerly known as the Fair Pay to Play Act), Parker’s initial amendment to his legislation would have created direct financial costs to New York colleges and universities by providing student-athletes a proposed 15% share of the annual ticket revenue generated from each school’s sporting events.

The second amendment to the proposed measure would modify this requirement that each college create an injury fund and share 15% of revenue earned from ticket sales on an annual basis with its student-athletes.

While the second amendment would still require colleges and universities to distribute 15% of ticket revenue, it would reduce the direct student-athlete distributable share by 50% to allow the remaining portion of the 15% mandated ticket revenue distribution to be used to fund the injury fund.

The important terms of the amendment are as follows:

  • Each college must establish a sports injury health savings account and a wage fund. These will be funded by each college and university with 15% of the revenue each school derives from ticket sales from its athletics programs’ events. Half of such revenue will be deposited into such sports injury health savings account and the other half will be deposited into such wage fund; and
  • Each college’s sports injury health savings account will be established to provide a student-athlete who suffers a career-ending or serious injury during a game or practice with compensation upon his or her graduation. The amount of such compensation and qualifying injuries will be determined by the department, in this case, the State Education Department (SED). A qualifying injury will be verified by an independent health care provider not affiliated with such student-athlete’s college; and
  • At the conclusion of each school year, each college’s wage fund will be divided evenly and paid to all student-athletes attending such college.

Senator Parker commented on his amended proposal, “It’s unfair for students to struggle financially while their athletic ability is a source of income solely for the NCAA and the colleges and universities they attend.”

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 second amendment to the New York legislation confirms Senator Parker’s intention to create specific and direct university costs to fund his plan.

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 loss of 15% in ticket revenues could have a substantial impact on New York schools’ ability to maintain all of their intercollegiate sport offerings.

If passed, the amended legislation would become effective January 1, 2023.

Jackson Lewis’ Collegiate and Professional Sports Practice Group will continue to monitor this proposed New York legislation, as well as similar legislation being 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.