Miller, Gainey to introduce legislation that would allow student-athletes to get paid

Pa. ‘Fair Pay to Play Act’ comes on the heels of California’s new law pertaining to college student-athletes

HARRISBURG, Oct. 1 – On Monday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law which will allow college student-athletes in the state to get fairly compensated for their work and effort. Pennsylvania now has a similar bill in the works, thanks to state Reps. Dan Miller and Ed Gainey, both D-Allegheny.

Miller and Gainey made the announcement Monday afternoon, stating that in a time of billion-dollar television deals and video game products, the limitations placed on today’s college athletes are disproportionately harsh. 

“Athletes are forced to give up their rights and economic freedom while the colleges make hundreds of millions of dollars off of their talent and likeness,” Miller said. “This bill would help to balance the scales by allowing them to sign endorsements, earn compensation, and hire agents to represent their interests in exchange for the work they do, and the benefit provided to the college.”

“Our student-athletes give their blood, sweat and tears to a sport they love, while colleges, universities and corporations reap the financial benefits of their work,” Gainey said. “If a college football head coach can earn $4.8 million for coaching ‘amateur student-athletes,’ and if corporations can earn billions of dollars using the players’ names and faces, then how is it not fair for them to earn some sort of financial compensation? The chances of a professional contract and thus a payout for all of their hard work and pain are tiny, and we owe it to them to level the playing field.”

Their legislation, also known as the state “Fair Pay to Play Act,” would largely mirror California’s bill likely taking effect Jan. 1, 2023, and not apply to community colleges.

Miller and Gainey’s legislation is expected to be introduced to the full House soon.