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State lawmaker proposes bill to prohibit schools from showing favoritism to some students

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- In the wake of a threatened boycott by the players on the University of Missouri football team, a state lawmaker has proposed a bill that would prohibit schools from showing favoritism to some students over others.

Some say there's something wrong when one student goes on a hunger strike and nothing happens, but members of a football team threaten a boycott over the same issue and two university leaders lose their jobs.

Henry Lyons says he experienced first hand the special treatment that athletes receive on college campuses. Lyons is a guest lecturer at UMKC teaching a career and life development class.

When an athlete failed his course, he says the school allowed the student to receive a "do-over" graded by a committee, something no other student could get.

"These students now are going thousands of dollars into debt," Lyons said. "They are sacrificing, working two or three jobs trying to make a living and go to school. And someone else can get preferential treatment just because they contribute athletic ability to the school. It's not right and it's not fair. It's not fair to the athlete because they are not learning skills they need to make it in life."

A Kansas City state lawmaker has introduced a bill requiring colleges to prohibit giving an unfair advantage to any student and to eliminate environments that encourage special treatment for some students that others are not eligible to receive.

Lyons says his class currently is on hold while a lawsuit is pending against the university. The bill on school favoritism made it out of committee in the last session of the legislature. It's expected to get a lot of attention in the next session.