SANTA FE, NM (AP) – A Republican state legislator and former college football striker wants New Mexico to allow its college athletes to profit financially from its fame while the NCAA studies the possibility of removing a long-standing ban on football earnings. sports.
State Sen. Mark Moores of Albuquerque says he is drafting the legislation with the help of a colleague from the Democratic Senate who would allow students to profit indirectly from participating in college sports.
Moores played as a football striker at the University of New Mexico from 1988 to 1991.
College sports generate billions of dollars in revenue, including $ 1 billion a year for the NCAA. But none of that money is allowed for college athletes.
California enacted a law last year that prevents athletes from losing scholarships or being expelled from teams because of sponsorship deals. Lawmakers in at least six other states are making similar efforts.
"The NCAA has recognized that they need to resolve this problem, but I want to continue to pressure … with other lawmakers across the country," said Moores.
The NCAA previously argued that allowing the practice "would erase the critical distinction between college and professional athletics" and give California schools an unfair recruitment advantage.
Separately, Moores enacted legislation seeking $ 500,000 to strengthen mental health services for student athletes. The budget request responds to student suicides in recent years, including the death of University of New Mexico football player Nahje Flowers in November.
The legislature called Tuesday for a 30-day session. New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is supporting legislation to provide free classes in the state at public colleges and universities.
The University of New Mexico recently dissolved women's ski, football and beach volleyball teams after financial difficulties in its track and field program and a scandal related to fundraising tactics.
Former UNM athletic director Paul Krebs pleaded not guilty to charges of embezzlement related to accusations that he used public money to give a golf tip to donors in court. A trial is scheduled for later this year.
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