WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, on Tuesday released a statement on the Dartmouth men’s basketball team’s vote to unionize.

“This is a monumental day for college sports and a huge victory for the athletes. For generations, the NCAA and its members have raked in billions of dollars on the backs of athletes but refused to pay the players or even give them a real seat at the table. Today’s decision by Dartmouth’s men’s basketball team to unionize represents a turning point in college athletics. Now it’s time for the colleges to stop wasting their time and money fighting athletes in court and lobbying Congress to roll back athletes' rights, and instead start negotiating with athletes on revenue-sharing, health and safety protections, and more.”

In December, Murphy reintroduced the College Athlete Right to Organize Act (CARO), legislation that affirms college athletes are employees under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) who are entitled to the right to organize and collectively bargain for fair compensation and better working conditions. CARO would ensure athletes have full freedom to organize at their individual colleges, either by sport or across sports, or organize across colleges to negotiate collective bargaining agreements within their athletic conferences. In 2023, Murphy also reintroduced the College Athlete Economic Freedom Act, legislation that would establish an unrestricted federal right for college athletes to market their Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL). During last year’s March Madness, Murphy wrote an op-ed in USA Today warning that college sports will destroy itself if it doesn’t get proactive about reform.