- Timme Mackie
- (313) 671-6554
Sacramento, CA – Assemblymember Chris Holden's legislation, AB 252, which would ensure that college athletes have specific rights that are defined, upheld, and protected by their institutions, passed the Higher Education Committee today.
"As a former college athlete, I know all too well the toll that it can take on a person's physical, mental, and financial well-being," said Assemblymember Chris Holden. "At some point we have to recognize that what's demanded of these athletes far exceeds what the average student is expected to contribute. We owe it to these young people to put protections in place that match the unique position they are in and set them up for success post schooling."
Some colleges and universities are profiting nearly billions off of their athletes. However, unlike pro athletes who are well taken care of through contracts, college athletes are not guaranteed any tangible benefit and are in constant risk of forfeiting their future. An injury could mean losing an athletic scholarship, suffering severe physical and mental turmoil, and incurring medical costs that follow a college athlete far beyond graduation.
"Today's vote is a major step toward ending the physical, academic, and financial exploitation of college athletes. The College Athlete Protection Act will establish mandatory safety standards to prevent abuse, serious injury, and death among college athletes. It will also provide a pathway toward fair college athlete compensation that is conditional upon degree completion to help improve graduation rates," stated Ramogi Huma, Executive Director of the National College Players Association.
In 2019, Governor Newsom signed SB 206, making California the first in the nation to pass legislation to address the massive inequity in college sports by giving college athletes the rights to earn compensation from their name, image, and likeness. The College Athlete Protection Act of 2023 further establishes California as a leader in protecting the rights of college athletes. Through my bill, those rights would be required to be clearly stated and posted by the institution and would prohibit any member of college staff from retaliating against an athlete who reports a violation of those rights.
"Right now college athletes stand just as good a chance of gaining everything as they do losing it all. We are forcing college athletes to treat their life as a gamble and I believe we can do better. Let's show up for them and offer some sense of security, especially in light of the risk and sacrifice they endure," said Holden.