Proposal to pay Minnesota college athletes introduced to Legislature

California is the only state to have passed such a law.
Publish date:
Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan prepares to throw a pass against Penn State. 

Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan prepares to throw a pass against Penn State. 

Hitting the floor of the Minnesota legislature this week is a bill that aims to give student-athletes at most Minnesota colleges the opportunity to be paid for use of their name, image and likeness. 

Sen. Roger Chamberlain (R-Lino Lakes) and Rep. Brad Tabke (DFL-Shakopee) introduced the bill Wednesday, with Chamberlain announcing last October the plan to create a bill that mirrors the California bill that was passed into law last September, effectively allowing student-athletes at California universities to be compensated for use of their name, image and likeness. 

Such bills seek to redress the balance that has seen college sports become a multi-billion dollar enterprise based on the talents of athletes who aren't paid for their efforts, outside of the college education they're getting.

The Minnesota proposal states: "It is the intent of the legislature to continue to develop policies to ensure appropriate protections are in place to avoid exploitation of student athletes, colleges, and universities."

While most states are pursuing payment opportunities for student-athletes of Division I colleges and universities governed by the NCAA, the proposal in Minnesota also aims to create a working group to study the Minnesota College Athletic Conference's (MCAC) rules and regulations regarding the compensation of community college athletes.

The findings of such a study would be reported with recommendations to the legislature and MCAC by July 1, 2022. 

"A postsecondary educational institution shall not uphold any rule, requirement, standard, or other limitation that prevents a student of that institution participating in intercollegiate athletics from earning compensation as a result of the use of the student's name, image, or likeness," the proposal says. 

"Earning compensation from the use of a student's name, image, or likeness shall not affect the student's scholarship eligibility."

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

The bill would not allow scholarships to be revoked in the event a student-athlete is being paid, and would also restrict colleges and athletic associations or conferences from disallowing athletes from hiring agents or professional representation of any kind. 

"Whether you’re a division one, two or three this is money making, and it’s entertainment, and people are getting wealthy off it," Chamberlain said last October, via MRP News. "So, the NCAA will not like it because the bill basically bars them from taking any action against the university or college or athlete for receiving compensation."

The threat of all 50 states passing their own college athlete compensation laws has put pressure on the NCAA or the federal government to step in and find a resolution that would work nationwide. 

"Having, in the end, 50 different state laws is a challenge to anything that’s trying to be operated at a national level around the country,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in December, according to the Washington Post.

The law in California will go into effect in 2023. 

Next Up


Walter Mondale dies at age of 93

His death was confirmed by family on Monday.

National Guard

Man charged in connection to shooting that injured National Guard troops

Four soldiers were inside a military vehicle that was shot at.

Chauvin trial

Walz declares emergency in Twin Cities, bringing in police from Ohio and Nebraska

The governor has asked the Legislature for emergency funding for the additional police.

derek chauvin court - closing arguments

Closing arguments in Derek Chauvin trial: Here's what was said

The jury listened to lengthy presentations from the prosecution and defense.


Man, 55, airlifted to a hospital after hit-and-run in Granite Falls

The passenger in the vehicle told police about the incident.

Minneapolis, unrest

Facebook labels Minneapolis 'high-risk,' will remove posts that incite violence

Facebook will remove posts that call for weapons to be brought to Minneapolis and anything that celebrates George Floyd's death.


After being sued, MyPillow is now suing Dominion Voting Systems

The company's lawsuit claims the voting system suppressed free speech and hurt its business relationships.

Chet Holmgren

Chet Holmgren makes his decision ... and it's Gonzaga

The Minnesota basketball phenom is following the footsteps of Jalen Suggs.

Sarah Glover

MPR News hires NBC's Sarah Glover as new managing editor

The experienced journalist was the first to serve two terms as president of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ).

football play

Watch: Sixth-grader with cerebral palsy makes touchdown in Detroit Lakes

Kale Hannahs' classmates made sure he got a chance to play during recess.

coronavirus, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, April 19

The latest from Minnesota health officials.



Gov. Walz signs 'hands free' cellphone bill into law

Fines for violating the law could cost drivers up to $275.


MN Legislature passes police accountability package in late-night vote

The bill passed the House and Senate in the early hours of Tuesday.

Proposed bill would raise the smoking age in Minnesota

Five cities have already raised the smoking age to 21.

College Gameday

'College Gameday' coming to South Dakota, is Minneapolis next?

The Nov. 9 game between the Gophers and Penn State makes some sense.

Kobe Bryant

Athletes react with shock to news of Kobe Bryant's death

Multiple outlets have confirmed that Bryant died in a helicopter crash.

Gopher football

Minnesota lawmakers call for Big Ten sports to continue

Two Minnesota lawmakers joined those from state across the Midwest in a letter to Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren.

Screen Shot 2019-12-18 at 1.56.10 PM

Pizza Hut, Potbelly to pay out $53K for sick time violations in Minneapolis

The restaurants have been ordered to pay out $53,425 between them.