DENVER — A bill to give college athletes a bigger financial stake in their name or likeness scored in its first committee hearing Thursday afternoon.

Senate Bill 123 would not require schools to pay athletes directly or allow amateur athletes to sign with agents to negotiate terms, the way a pro player does. That would mean only stars cash in on things like jersey sales and video games they're featured in.

"This is not about athletes at the college level turning into paid, compensated like you have at the level of, say, the NFL or the NBA," the bill's sponsor, Sen. Jeff Bridges, D-Greenwood Village, told the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

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He pointed out that coaches make millions and colleges made more than $800 million on TV rights alone in 2018.

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