Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Wednesday night that the recent flurry of what he termed “outrageously astronomical” contracts for college football head coaches could end up reigniting Congressional interest in helping athletes obtain improved health-care coverage and other benefits.
In the past week, LSU, Michigan State and Penn State, respectively, have made 10-year agreements with Brian Kelly, Mel Tucker and James Franklin that have a combined total value of at least $280 million. In addition, Southern California has made a deal with Lincoln Riley that likely is just as lucrative as any of those three, if not moreso, although the private school is not required to disclose the specific terms.
“This latest round of contracts is … definitely getting attention in the Congress,” Blumenthal, D-Conn., told USA TODAY Sports. It “may give us a real opportunity to seek a bipartisan consensus for this kind of bill of rights” for college athletes.
Blumenthal and Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., introduced legislation that would have provided an array of specific benefits and protections for athletes near the end of the previous Congressional session. A number of those proposals, including a revenue-sharing plan for athletes, encountered significant resistance from schools and from Republicans. They have not reintroduced the measure this year, instead seeking to gain support from Republicans for a scaled-back version.
Asked how a bill could be put together and passed in the face…