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Volume 25 No. 239
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Maryland Bill Would Let Athletes Unionize, Collectively Bargain

Maryland state lawmakers have "proposed a bill that would upend the college athletics model across the state and give athletes the right to unionize and collectively bargain over issues related to health and safety, as well as compensation," according to Rick Maese of the WASHINGTON POST. Delegate Brooke Lierman proposed the measure last week and said that recent events on college campuses, including the death of former Maryland football player Jordan McNair, have "highlighted a growing need for an independent advocate who can work on behalf of athletes." She also cited the "hundreds of young Michigan State athletes who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of Larry Nassar." The bill "would cover all of the universities in Maryland that field athletic teams and highlights four primary areas that would be open to collective bargaining: scholarship terms, insurance benefits, use of an athlete’s image or likeness and the establishment of an independent advocate to work on behalf of athletes." The bill "probably will face a long, steep climb in the Maryland legislature." Maryland is also in the process of "implementing a variety of health and safety measures in the wake of McNair’s death" (WASHINGTON POST, 2/9).