football

Sen. Chris Murphy calls college athlete compensation a ‘civil rights issue’
UConn fan released first in a series of reports on the college sports industry

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., calls inequity in college sports a “civil rights issue.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Basketball fans across the country are stressing over their March Madness brackets for the NCAA tournament, but Connecticut Democrat Sen. Christopher S. Murphy is instead stressing the staggering inequity in college sports that he calls “a civil rights issue.”

Murphy released a report Thursday morning, titled Madness, Inc.: How is everyone getting rich off college sports — except the players, which is the first in a series he plans to put out on the state of the multi billion-dollar collegiate athletics industry. He plans to dig into how advertisers, executives, coaches, and college administrators reap the benefits from college sports, while the athletes who are competing receive no monetary compensation.

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Senators Blast NCAA, ESPN in Review of College Athletics (Video)

Rockefeller criticized ESPN at a hearing on the NCAA and student-athletes last week, saying the network was "undermining our commitment to education." (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A century-old debate over the commercialization of college athletics is under renewed scrutiny on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers could face the issue in the coming months, and held little back when the leader of the NCAA testified recently before the Senate Commerce Committee.  

Senators hammered NCAA President Mark Emmert on July 9, as questions about student-athlete compensation, graduation rates, health care and sexual assault took center stage.