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Panel kills bill allowing Virginia college athletes cash from endorsements

A House bill that was shelved this week would have made Virginia the second state to allow its college athletes to make money off of their names, images and likenesses.

Capital News Service

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By Will Gonzalez

A House bill that was shelved this week would have made Virginia the second state to allow its college athletes to make money off of their names, images, and likenesses.

Del. Marcus Simon, D-Fairfax, introduced House Bill 300, which would have allowed student-athletes to earn money through endorsement contracts and obtain representation from an agent or attorney. The bill also said that the aforementioned actions can’t result in the loss of eligibility or scholarships.

This comes after California passed a similar law — the Fair Pay to Play Act — which the NCAA initially opposed, citing that the potential to make money would give California schools an unfair advantage in recruiting.

The NCAA, the governing body for intercollegiate athletics in the U.S., has historically upheld that college athletes are amateurs and “students first, athletes second,” thus ensuring an education remains the sole reason for attending a college or university. The NCAA’s current rules prohibit players from earning money from sponsorship deals. However, the organization recently voted to direct schools to consider rule changes regarding student-athlete endorsements.

Tim Nevius, a New York-based attorney representing college athletes, says the NCAA’s new position on college athletes earning compensation is a result of outside pressure and litigation.

“The NCAA often like to take credit for rule changes when they do come about,” Nevius said, “but they don’t do anything voluntarily and this is another example of that.”

New York, Florida and Illinois are among the states which have introduced bills that allow student-athletes to profit off their likenesses. The New York bill adds other provisions that would benefit students. Schools would need to share 15% of their revenue from athletics with their student-athletes and set up a fund for players who suffer serious injuries.

Nevius believes the benefits for players who get hurt are more important than sharing revenues and that other states should follow suit.

“Right now NCAA athletes are not sufficiently protected when it comes to their health and safety rights,” Nevius said. “Taking care of the health and safety of our college athletes should be the priority for any lawmaker or any new rules that come about.”

Helen Drew, a sports law professor at the University at Buffalo, said as more states draft bills with their own conditions as to how college athletes can benefit from their talents, it will lead to a logistical nightmare for the NCAA.

“If the NCAA is smart, they’re going to lobby for federal legislation that sets a standard across the country, gets rid of all this potential litigation and addresses the issue,” Drew said. “The problem is they’ve been dragging their feet.”

This is not the first time the legitimacy of the NCAA’s amateurism rules have come into question. UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon sued the NCAA in 2014 after he saw himself in a college basketball video game, and it was ruled that the NCAA violated antitrust laws by providing the likenesses of players without compensation.

That same year, Minnesota Timberwolves guard Shabazz Napier — a UConn Husky at the time — told reporters that he sometimes went to bed hungry because he wasn’t given enough to eat and couldn’t afford more. The NCAA would eventually relax their rules for how much food schools were allowed to give their athletes, which included allowing programs to provide cream cheese and peanut butter for bagels and unlimited snacks.

Set featured imageAccording to Nevius, one of the overlooked provisions in the Virginia bill is crucial — the ability for student-athletes to obtain professional and legal representation — not only for monetary purposes but also to defend themselves against the schools they attend.

“Representation is critical, not just with respect to landing endorsement deals, but also with respect to enforcing any of the provisions under this rule that schools may take liberties with,” Nevius said. “College athletes have no voice and no independent representation outside of the universities, and it results in a lot of overreach by coaches.”

If it becomes common for college athletes to be allowed to make money while in school, Mario Sequeira Quesada, a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University and goalkeeper for their soccer team, believes that schools should take measures to make athletes more equipped to handle that money.

“In the end, what you want to do in college is become a more complete person,” Sequeira Quesada said. “A better athlete, but at the same time more prepared for the real world.”

The House Subcommittee on Higher Education voted to table the bill Tuesday, meaning it won’t be heard in either chamber this session.

Originally established in 1906 to reform college football after numerous deaths and serious injuries, the NCAA now incorporates 1,098 member schools and generates roughly $1 billion in revenues annually.

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The Capital News Service is a flagship program of VCU’s Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture. In the program, journalism students cover news in Richmond and across Virginia and distribute their stories, photos, and other content to more than 100 newspapers, television and radio stations, and news websites.

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Community

James River Park System Update from Bryce Wilk, Superintendent

Through June 30, 2020: 1,076,873 James River Park has had visitors. The same date in 2019: 975,433 visitors. The current staff devoted to James River Park is 5.

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The James River Park is getting heavy use but that’s not all that’s going on in the park. Here’s what Bryce Wilk, Superintendent has to say.

  • The JRPS is seeing visitors at a higher rate than any other year ever! Through June 30, 2020: 1,076,873 visitors. Same date in 2019: 975,433 visitors. This despite all the restrictions in place during the stay at home orders due to Covid 19 this past spring and early summer. Close to a quarter million visitors in the month of June alone.
  • JRPS staff and local paddling groups installed new Dam Hazard Signs and Buoys between Huguenot Flatwater and Z-Dam to better warn people of the dangers of Z-Dam and the river.
  • JRPS hired parking attendants to ticket all illegally parked vehicles at Pony Pasture Rapids Park on weekends and holidays.
  • During the closure of public facilities, JRPS took the opportunity to upgrade the bathroom at Pony Pasture with new flooring and paint.
  • JRPS added parking lines in the parking lot to help guide and organize vehicle parking.
  • Currently we only have 5 full time staff members dedicated solely to the James River Park System, James River Park System relies on volunteers to keep this park beautiful.
  • JRPS is providing volunteer opportunities for river clean ups at Pony Pasture specifically through https://www.handsonrva.org/.
  • If people are interested in volunteering on their own or have any questions, Volunteer Coordinator, Matthew Mason can provide resources and equipment. His email is [email protected]
  • Please visit https://jamesriverpark.org/ and http://www.richmondgov.com/parks/ for the latest updates and safety information about the James River Park System and Richmond’s Parks, Recreation, and Community Facilities.

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Crime

Mayor Stoney names members of “Task Force to Reimagine Public Safety”

“There is a lot of work ahead of us, but this group’s diversity of expertise and lived experiences is a key asset on our path forward,” said the mayor. “I am thrilled to have this team help our city heal.”

RVAHub Staff

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Today Mayor Levar Stoney announced the members of the Task Force to Reimagine Public Safety and outlined his primary requests of the diverse group of professionals. The majority of task force members stood with the mayor for the announcement.

“There is a lot of work ahead of us, but this group’s diversity of expertise and lived experiences is a key asset on our path forward,” said the mayor. “I am thrilled to have this team help our city heal.”

The members of the task force bring an array of perspectives from activist, legal, academic, law enforcement, emergency services, artistic, healthcare, and other fields. At the close of a 45-day period, the task force will bring the mayor a set of actionable steps forward to build a safer city for all.

“After additional conversations and review of actions taken in other cities, I do not believe we can wait to begin acting on reform recommendations,” said Mayor Stoney. “I have asked this task force to report back with initial recommendations within 45 days of their first meeting.”

The mayor established three foundational requests of the task force: reviewing the police department’s use of force policies, exploring an approach to public safety that uses a human services lens, and prioritizing community healing and engagement.

“We need a new process for noncriminal and nonviolent calls for service, and that will be a top priority for this task force,” noted the mayor. “We must center compassion instead of consequences.”

Regarding community healing and engagement, the mayor said that the task force will allow the city to explore methods of engagement that will enable meaningful change, using his support for the Virginia Black Legislative Caucus’ legislative package as an example.

“Last month I expressed my support for the VBLC’s package for the summer session,” said Mayor Stoney. “This task force can determine where the city can explore complementary legislation and where we need to focus community advocacy to make statewide change a reality.”

Members of the Task Force

Carol Adams, Richmond Police Department
Ram Bhagat,
 Manager of School Culture and Climate Strategy for RPS

Glenwood Burley, retired RPD officer

Keisha Cummings, community engagement specialist, founder of 2LOVE LLC, member of the Richmond Transparency and Accountability Project and the Richmond Peace Team

Torey Edmonds, Community Outreach Coordinator at VCU Clark-Hill Institute for Positive Youth Development

Professor Daryl Fraser, VCU School of Social Work professor and licensed clinical social worker

Triston Harris, Black Lives Matters organizer and organizer of the 5,000 Man March Against Racism

Birdie Hairston Jamison, former district court judge for the 13th Judicial District in Virginia

Councilman Mike Jones

Shanel Lewis, Youth Violence Prevention Specialist at the Richmond City Health District

Brandon Lovee, Richmond artist and advocate, member of the Richmond Peace Team

Colette McEachin, Richmond Commonwealth Attorney

Reverend Dontae McCutchen, Love Cathedral Community Church

Dr. Lisa Moon, Associate Provost at VCU and former Director of the Center for the Study of the Urban Child

Sergeant Brad Nixon, RPD

Tracy Paner, Public Defender for the City of Richmond

Bill Pantele, Richmond attorney and former City Council Member

Professor William Pelfrey, VCU professor with expertise in emergency preparedness and policing

Councilwoman Ellen Robertson

Rodney Robinson, National Teacher of the Year and teacher at the Richmond Juvenile Detention Center

Patrice Shelton, Community Health Worker in Hillside Court and director of the Hillside Court Partnership

Lashawnda Singleton, President of the Richmond Association of Black Social Workers

Sheba Williams, Executive Director of NoLef Turns

Courtney Winston, Richmond trial attorney

The Mayor’s Office is specifically working with the Office of Community Wealth Building’s Community Ambassadors to identify additional community members, including youth, to be part of the task force’s important work and to assist with community engagement.

The task force is committed to a transparent process and will make meeting minutes available to the public.

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Community

Richmond Then and Now: 114 E. Broad Street

A then and now snapshot of Richmond.

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Original Image from Souvenir views: Negro enterprises & residences, Richmond, Va.
Created / Published[Richmond, D. A. Ferguson, 1907]

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