Photo of Senator Slap.

State Senator

Derek Slap

Representing West Hartford, Farmington, Burlington and Bloomfield

Sen. Slap Joins U.S. Senator Chris Murphy to Protect College Athletes

HARTFORD – State Senator Derek Slap (D-West Hartford) today joined United States Senator Christopher Murphy (D-CT) to highlight the need for the state and federal governments to put continuous pressure on the NCAA to better protect and serve college athletes – especially when it comes to their physical and financial health.

Sen. Slap joined Sen. Murphy today in the Legislative Office Building in Hartford as Sen. Murphy released his third and final report in a series that considers the range of problems within college athletics. The report, “Madness, Inc.: How College Sports Leave Athletes Broken and Abandoned,” examines the ways in which colleges and the NCAA neglect athletes’ health. Murphy’s first report examined the billions of dollars in revenue produced by college sports and how that money enriches nearly everyone but the athletes themselves; Murphy’s second report examined the ways in which colleges fail to provide athletes with the education they deserve.

Sen. Slap spoke on the importance of allowing college student athletes to profit from their name or likeness by engaging in paid advertisements – something now forbidden by the NCAA, though that organization says it hopes to re-write and expand those rules in 2020.

Sen. Slap reiterated his position that the state and federal governments should work to ensure these rights for college athletes, and not leave it up to the NCCA to decide.

“I applaud Senator Murphy for taking a holistic approach to the problems in college sports with these three reports,” Sen. Slap said. “We both agree that we can’t wait for the NCAA to make the right decision regarding student athletes being able to engage in product endorsement deals. We can’t sit back and just hope that at some point the NCAA gets off the dime and takes action. The only way I think things are going to get better for our state’s athletes is if we attack this issue at the federal level, as Senator Murphy is doing, and at the state level, as I plan to do. We plan to have a public hearing in a few months on a bill about some real changes that I will propose.”

“Part of the reason I’ve been so interested in this is because I think it goes to the issue of pay equity, which is something I’ve been supporting for years,” Sen. Slap added. “Especially here in Connecticut, I think women athletes stand to benefit just as much or more as our male athletes.”

In introducing his final report, Sen. Murphy outlined several ways that college and universities can better protect the physical health of their student athletes.

“College sports rely on athletes to entertain and captivate us with their talent—putting their bodies on the line in the process. It’s only fair that in turn, we prioritize their health. But this report found the opposite,” Sen. Murphy said. “Too many athletes leave college sports with far less than they started. This is a result of coaches and trainers pushing athletes beyond their limits, putting their health at risk just to win a game, and ignoring what’s good for their long-term health. It’s time we fix this broken system, and I’m working on federal, bipartisan legislation to do just that.”

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