NC bill for colleges to pay athletes fails in committee

A bill requiring North Carolina’s public and private universities with top-division football and men’s basketball programs to pay athletes failed to make it out of a state House committee on Tuesday.

The bill would’ve required schools in the Football Bowl Subdivision or Division I basketball to award stipends to cover the full cost of attendance, as well as to hold licensing revenue generated by the athletes in trust to be paid after they’ve completed their college eligibility.

It wouldn’t have taken effect until after the resolution of the O’Bannon lawsuit allowing athletes to be compensated for use of their likenesses, a ruling the NCAA is appealing. But members of the House Education-Universities committee voted the measure down by a nearly 2-to-1 margin.

Bill co-sponsor Rep. Brian Brown, a Pitt County Republican, said the measure was only a “first step” to standardize rules across the state’s public university system as well as for private schools that receive any state funding. He said the measure could still be revived in a different form.

The proposal came as the NCAA and top conferences are implementing rule changes dealing with additional compensation for athletes, though many schools are still working out how to pay for it. The state House proposal would have affected not only power-conference schools like Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Wake Forest universities, but schools such as Appalachian State, Charlotte and East Carolina — which announced last week it would also provide full cost of attendance to athletes.

A similar bill has been proposed in the South Carolina legislature.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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