Booker Seeks to Protect NCAA Athletes
What does the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation have to do with how student-athletes are treated at colleges and universities in America? The panel has jurisdiction over the National Collegiate Athletic Association. U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) is a member of the committee and he is looking to protect our country's student-athletes.
"We have athletes that have injuries that were sustained back in their athletic days and they have to pay for them on their own dime. You see guys who bring tons of money into the university, get injured in their sophomore, junior year and lose their scholarship. I've talked to athletes who are struggling out in the real world, but the NCAA is still using their image, jerseys with their names on it, video games using their likenesses," Booker said.
The Senate panel recently took testimony from NCAA President Mark Emmert who said he now supports scholarships for life. He also vowed to address all other issues because he said he knows the senate is watching and the world is watching.
Booker said this will continue to be an issue until every problem is fixed, but he stopped short of saying student-athletes should draw a salary.
"I'm not sure if I'm there on paying athletes. I'm there though on some of the basic ideas of fairness," Booker said.
Booker was a football player on scholarship at Stanford University. He joked that he got into Stanford because of his 4.0 grade point average and his 1,600 receiving yards respectively. He said playing college sports opened up great doors for him, but others aren't as fortunate.
"There are some basic reforms that have to be made to the NCAA. Most measures show that the scholarships young folks receive don't fully cover the cost of college. As we get ready for the fall, I know this issue of the treatment of athletes is going to come back up," Booker said.