Senate Sets Rules for Compensating College Athletes through Senators Martin, Tomlinson, Browne, Williams Measure

(HARRISBURG) – The state Senate today voted to establish rules on how college athletes may be compensated for the use of their name, image or likeness.

The provision, which was part of a comprehensive budget bill dealing with the state’s education policies, will allow Pennsylvania student-athletes to accept endorsement opportunities and monetize their celebrity status during their personal time. The compensation does not come from the school and cannot impact the student-athletes scholarship.  For example, a student-athlete may run a summer sports camp on their own and make money from it. 

Under the plan, the student-athletes must use an outside agent to negotiate the terms of these agreements. Colleges and universities are not permitted to use the compensation as a basis for reducing or revoking the student’s athletic scholarships.

Senator Scott Martin (R-13), Chairman of the Senate Education Committee

“Recent court rulings have opened the door for hard-working student athletes to be compensated for the use of their name, image and likeness in their personal lives. We needed to act now in order to provide clarity for student-athletes caused by the NCAA’s failure to act on this issue.  This is critical for collegiate athletic programs in Pennsylvania so they will not be put at a competitive recruiting disadvantage after July 1, as many states will be implementing enabling rules.”

Senator Robert M. “Tommy” Tomlinson (R-6)

“This critical legislation will empower student athletes across the Commonwealth who compete in collegiate level athletics and ensure Pennsylvania’s colleges and universities do not face an unfair recruiting advantage as other state’s adopt their own rules in response to the court case. As a proud Alumni of West Chester University and a former college athlete, I know what these young men and women have to go through. I truly believe this legislation will enable these athletes to improve their lives, academically, athletically, and financially.  I am proud to have worked in a bipartisan manner with Senator Martin and Senator Williams as we support our collegiate athletes.”

Senator Pat Browne (R-16)

“It is only fair that student athletes have the chance to be compensated for use of their likeness, image or name. For too long, colleges have used those representations of athletes to generate attention, funding and recruitment for those colleges but the players themselves have not been given that same opportunity. This legislation corrects that unfairness and creates potential benefits for both the college and the student athlete. I am proud that Pennsylvania colleges will join colleges in other states that have already done this.”

Senator Anthony Williams (D-8)

“Enacting this provision today not only gives Pennsylvania a competitive advantage over the 30 states which have not yet passed similar legislation but provides equity to student athletes whose hard work enriches our Commonwealth’s colleges and universities. For the student athletes from neighborhoods like mine, this presents an opportunity to make their lives, and those of their families and communities, much better. I look forward to building on this work together with my colleagues to ensure that all student athletes are compensated fairly for their work.”


The U.S. Supreme Court ruled earlier this week that the NCAA’s rules on athlete compensation violated anti-trust laws. Various other courts also have ruled against the NCAA regulations on name, image and likeness.

Because the NCAA has not updated its regulations and Congress has not enacted a federal law, state lawmakers across the United States are passing laws to outline how student-athletes may be reimbursed for use of their name, image and likeness.


CONTACT: Terry Trego


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