College athletes in the state of Iowa could soon see the same benefits as state employees.
Iowa state representative Bruce Hunter, who currently serves as the ranking member of the Iowa House Labor Committee, authored a bill that would classify athletes as employees. This was first reported by CBS Sports.
The bill, which was introduced on Wednesday, comes less than a year after the NCAA announced that college athletes would be allowed to profit off their name, image, and likeness (NIL).
If the bill is adopted as law, it would apply to Iowa’s three public universities: Iowa, Iowa State, and Northern Iowa. It would not apply to private schools in the state.
Bruce Hunter did not respond to a request for comments regarding the bill.
A high-ranking source from one of Iowa’s public schools said that the bill “has no legs.”
This bill does not mark the first time that college athletes are being discussed as employees. Last year, National Labor Relations Board general counsel Jennifer Abruzzo issued a memo saying that college players should receive all the benefits of employee status and that they have been misclassified as “student-athletes.”
Former Minnesota regent Michael Hsu later filed an unfair labor practice complaint to the NLRB in support of Abruzzo’s memo. No college athlete has initiated any complaints.
Whether or not this bill ends up being passed, it still marks a step toward change as the NCAA continues to adjust to the new NIL rules.