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State Senator

Derek Slap

Representing West Hartford, Farmington, Burlington and Bloomfield

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Sen. Slap Supports Product Endorsement Rights for CT College Athletes

HARTFORD – Coming on the heels of a new law signed last week by California Governor Gavin Newsom that gives college athletes in California the right to engage in product endorsements deals beginning in 2023, state Senator Derek Slap (D-West Hartford) said today that he will begin discussions with his fellow legislators to seek similar legislation in Connecticut.

“With California and other states moving ahead on this issue, Connecticut also needs to look at this if for no other reason than to remain competitive for recruitment,” said Sen. Slap, who is a member of the legislature’s Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee. “Of course this is also about fairness. Anyone else on campus can be paid for endorsing a product, but athletes who in many cases are generating revenue for a school aren’t allowed to. Connecticut is also a state where women stand just as good a chance as men to earn endorsement money and receive financial compensation for their likeness being used commercially. It’s just one more way that way we as a state can help promote pay equity between men and women.”

The California law, Senate Bill 206 (“Fair Pay to Play Act”), makes it illegal beginning January 1, 2023 for California universities to revoke an athlete’s scholarship or eligibility for taking money. Under the new law, schools won’t pay athletes, but athletes can hire agents to seek out business deals for them. The bill essentially prohibits the NCAA from barring a university from competition if its athletes are compensated for the use of their name, image, or likeness.

Gov. Newsom said he signed the bill – which passed the California legislature on a bipartisan and unanimous basis – to address what he sees as the racial, gender, and economic injustices ingrained in college athletics.

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