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Pennsylvania looks to join California with a Fair Pay to Play Act for college athletes

Dan Miller and Ed Gainey introduced a bill similar to California's in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Monday in Harrisburg.

Penn State wide receiver KJ Hamler (1) scores a touchdown against Maryland.
Penn State wide receiver KJ Hamler (1) scores a touchdown against Maryland.Read moreNick Wass / AP

Early Monday morning, California governor Gavin Newsom woke up the nation when he signed into law a bill that would allow collegiate athletes in California to profit off their names, likenesses, images and endorsement deals, despite NCAA rules that have prohibited anything of the sort.

Pennsylvania state representative Dan Miller was fully in support of collegiate players profiting from their brands, and voiced his opinion shortly after the bill was signed.

“We are telling 18 to 23-year-olds that they can’t exercise what other 18 to 23-year-olds can because they play college athletics,” Miller said. “It’s an economic issue.”

Miller joined Pennsylvania House of Representatives member Ed Gainey to introduce a similar bill on Monday in Harrisburg that will aim to capitalize on the same efforts introduced in California. The bill won’t be exactly the same due to different law structures in the two states, but Miller estimated that it is “about 95% similar" to the bill in California.

The National College Players Association, a nonprofit group that advocates for college athletes, played a major role in Miller’s understanding and his will to introduce the bill.

“Data suggests that women and athletes of color are impacted the most, and in my conversations with the NCPA, they have emphasized the issues that minorities face,” Miller said.

Miller and Gainey will still need support from co-sponsors to formally introduce the bill. The plan is to garner enough support from Republicans and Democrats within the next week.

“I think this will be something that’ll move in other states, and fairly quickly,” Miller said. “People see the injustice of it.”