Earlier this week, California Gov. Gavin Newsome signed a bill allowing college athletes in the state to accept endorsement money and hire agents, starting in the year 2023.
Under the Fair Pay to Play Act, student-athletes will be allowed to profit off of their name, image and likeness, sponsorship and other income opportunities like autograph signings.
For decades, the NCAA has held full control over its athletes. Though some of those athletes have received large scholarships for their participation in varsity sports, they were unable to collect physical income for their efforts, while institutions and coaches made millions off their backs.
State legislators in California finally decided to take a stand against the NCAA, and they made the right call.
College athletes deserve some sort of way to put money in their pockets in exchange for their efforts. With the amount of time and energy spent at practices and games, student athletes are usually unable to get jobs to help offset the costs of daily living.
With many student athletes coming from low-income backgrounds, it’s important to make sure that everyone has a chance to provide for themselves. If that comes by way of selling some game-worn equipment or signing a few autographs, so be it.
The Fair Pay to Play Act makes paying collegiate athletes simple. Those who are responsible for earning their schools massive amounts of money will be able to profit off themselves.
To figure out a way for universities to actually pay their student athletes would be a taller task. It would be tough to decide if participants in all sports should get paid, or only those that play sports that bring in large revenue. Schools may even cut programs to avoid the cost of paying their players.
The state of California has finally found a way to dance around the NCAA’s unfair boundaries, and other states have taken notice. Florida and Pennsylvania have proposed the bill as well. As the movement gains traction, it’s likely that more states will follow.
We can only hope they do.
As more and more states approve the bill, the NCAA will eventually be forced to accept the practice nationwide. If athletes in only a handful of states can reap the benefits of the Fair Pay to Play Act, it will be seen as a recruiting advantage for schools in those states. The NCAA will have to make a change.
The NCAA made over $1 billion in revenue last year. That money gets distributed to pretty much everyone, except the athletes that people are actually paying to watch. Now, these states are providing a way for these athletes to get the money that they deserve.