The Drake Group applauds the legislative effort of U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Brian Schatz (D-HI) who introduced the College Athletes Bill of Rights on December 17, 2020. The bill is comprehensive and far-reaching, providing college athletes with long-overdue protections that should have been the responsibility of the NCAA.
While the bill has a critical flaw with significant deleterious implications that we hope will be carefully addressed, The Drake Group believes that the bill has the potential to reset the moral compass of college sports. The current one-sided exploitative relationship between higher education institutions and the athletes that generate billions of dollars from highly commercialized college sports must be corrected. Higher education has not been fulfilling its end of the bargain – the promise of providing a bona fide education and sufficient protection from athletic injury, guarding a student’s freedom of speech and ability to transfer to other institutions, and encouraging, rather than preventing, students from utilizing their skills and talents to explore outside employment, among others. Unfortunately, the bill includes a revenue-sharing arrangement that creates an ill-disguised employer/employee relationship between the institution and college athlete that changes.