US lawmaker from North Carolina to propose law that would allow NCAA athletes get paid

Republican U.S. Representative Mark Walker, of North Carolina, will introduce federal legislation Thursday that would allow student athletes to profit from their name and image.

"Signing an athletic scholarship with a school should not be a moratorium on your rights to your name, image, and self-worth," Rep. Walker, of the 6th Congressional District, said in a statement. "We have a plan to fix college sports without asking the NCAA or our universities to pay a dollar. After nearly two years of speaking with players and thought leaders, we will be introducing the Student-Athlete Equity Act next week."

The bill says it would "amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to prohibit qualified amateur sports organizations from prohibiting or substantially restricting the use of an athletes name, image, or likeness, and for other purposes."

An amateur sports organization would include the NCAA. This comes just before the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

The legislation says it would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 by adding: "Such term does not include an organization that substantially restricts a student athlete from using, or being reasonably compensated for the third party use of, the name, image, or likeness of such student athlete."

If enacted, it would take effect the taxable years after that date.

Rasheed Wallace, who played basketball for the University of North Carolina and the NBA, was asked about Walker's proposal during a press conference Friday when he was introduced as the head basketball coach for Jordan High School in Durham.

"To be honest, I don't get involved with pole-i-tics," Wallace said. "It's not politics. It's pole-i-tics because somebody along the lines getting shafted, so I don't get involved with pol-i-tics."

ABC11 has reached out to the NCAA for comment.

Note: Video in this article is from a 2018 story where David Cutcliffe talked about the prospect of athletes being paid.
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