MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - On Thursday, Senator Brian Kelsey filed legislation that would allow college athletes to make money from advertising.
"I've introduced this bill to finally allow our college athletes in Tennessee to be treated like everybody else," said Senator Brian Kelsey.
If passed, college athletes could profit from their name, image and likeness.
"Universities and the NCAA have been making billions of dollars off of these college athletes and it's about time we let the athletes in on just a small cut of that money," said Kelsey.
Senator Kelsey says California recently passed the same bill, which goes into effect in three years. This Tennessee law would do the same.
The proposal would also prohibit public universities from discriminating against players based on donations by coaches to universities like what happened to now-former Memphis Tiger James Wiseman and head coach Penny Hardaway. Late last year Hardaway was labeled a booster for a donation he made to the university years ago.
“We don’t want to discourage our former players from making donations to those universities just because they might be thinking in the back of their head, ‘well, one day I might like to coach there,’” said Kelsey.
Representative Antonio Parkinson will also sponsor this bill. We spoke to Rep. Parkinson in March 2019 when the bill was first proposed.
"You cannot tell me with all of the millions of dollars that you are making that these kids shouldn't be able to get something," said Rep. Parkinson.
In October of last year, the NCAA Board voted to open the door for student-athletes to make money in this same situation.