An Iowa state representative on Wednesday introduced a bill that would classify college athletes in that state as employees. The bill is authored by veteran Rep. Bruce Hunter (D-Des Moines), who currently serves as the ranking member of the Iowa House Labor Committee.
The bill comes as conversation heats up surrounding player compensation amid the introduction of name, image and likeness rights for athletes. Several sources told CBS Sports last week the NCAA will have to soon deal with an employee-employer relationship, at least at the highest level.
Hunter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
If adopted as law, the bill would apply to Iowa’s three public institutions: Iowa, Iowa State and Northern Iowa. It would not govern private schools in the state.
“My intel says it has no legs,” said a high-ranking source from one of those public schools who did not want to be identified.
Last year, National Labor Relations Board general counsel Jennifer Abruzzo issued a memo saying college players have been misclassified as “student-athletes” and should receive all the benefits of employee status.
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 a complaint.
Hsu compared the Iowa bill to California’s SB-206, the original state NIL bill filed in 2019 that spurred the momentum for the nationwide NIL movement.
This bill would allow the Iowa state board of regents — those who oversee the public universities — the ability to fix athlete compensation in the same way it sets compensation for school presidents and other state employees.