Skip to main content

Assemblymember Chris Holden’s Legislation Establishing Rights For College Athletes Passes The Assembly Floor

For immediate release:

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 Assembly Floor 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.

Former San Jose State gymnast Amy LeClair is a survivor of sexual abuse from San Jose State’s former director of sports medicine who abused numerous female athletes for a decade. She stated, “If this bill would have been in place, we would have been protected against a predator and spared many difficult years trying to heal. Instead, the university was able to cover it up and knowingly put athletes in harm’s way. I am now left trying to block my college years out of my memory.”

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.

“These athletes are not commodities. They are our young people, our next greatest talents, and future leaders. It’s time we raise the standards and treat them accordingly,” said Holden.