Maryland Bill Would Protect Student-Athlete’s Health & Wealth

March 17, 2021 / Athletic Administration
A bipartisan Maryland bill that’s advancing through the General Assembly has aims of not only protecting collegiate student-athletes’ financial standing but also their physical wellbeing.

Entitled the Jordan McNair Safe and Fair Play Act, the bill is named for the Maryland Terrapins football player who died in 2018 from heat exhaustion during a summer practice. If passed, it would require colleges to implement guidelines to prevent and treat serious sports injuries, according to a report from WBAL-TV11.

Jordan McNair

“If Jordan McNair knew that he could have walked off the field because of his deteriorating physical condition and still maintained his scholarship until he graduated, it’s plausible that he would be with us today,” Emmet Gill, of Athletes and Advocates, told WBAL-TV11.

Additionally, the bill would open the door for paid endorsements, lessen restrictions on player transfers, forcing colleges to hold financial and life skills workshops and guarantee five-year athletic scholarships.

“Student-athletes lose these rights when they become NCAA athletes. This bill restores those NIL rights, I think, well beyond the football and basketball teams,” Brooke Lierman, Baltimore City Delegate and the bill’s sponsor told WBAL-TV11.

If passed, the ball would broadly affect collegiate student-athletes at public four-year institutions on the topics of five-year scholarships, financial and life skill workshop requirements, student-athletes being granted the same rights as other students, less strict transfer restrictions, adoption and implementation of guidelines related to health and the prevention of sexual misconduct, prohibitions against institutions retaliating against student-athletes.

Student-athlete compensation and professional representation provisions apply to the University System of Maryland (USM) and Morgan State University (MSU).

The bill would take effect in 2023 if it were to be passed. To read the full story from WBAL-TV11, click here.