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Debate begins about paying college athletes in New York

The recent passage of a California Fair Pay to Play Act allows athletes to hire agents who can score them big business and sponsorship deals.

And while it doesn’t force colleges to pay athletes, it does enable players to get paid for their name, image, and likeness.

“This is from Nike up on down to a local car dealership, going to a local student-athlete and saying, ‘Hey, we’d love to use you in our campaign,’” said John Jiloty, Martin Group Martin Sport vice president.

The move has prompted federal leaders and other states to take a page out California’s play book.

New York state Sen. Kevin Parker has introduced a measure Jiloty says is a little more aggressive than the one out west, calling in-part for schools to evenly distribute 15 percent of revenue to all athletes.

“In the New York market you can make a lot more money than the middle of the Kansas market, you know? Then maybe that becomes a different opportunity to a student-athlete than it has,” said Jiloty.

State Assemblyman Sean Ryan has introduced his own version, closely standing on the sideline with the bill out west, opposing Parker’s bid for schools to pay their players.

“All sorts of companies, coaches, athletic departments, universities, they’re making money hand over fist off the free labor of these students. So, I look at it really as a labor law protection,” said Ryan, (D) Assembly-Buffalo.

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