On Sept. 30, the Governor of California Gavin Newsom, signed the Fair Pay to Play Act, which initiated a movement to have college athletes be able to make money off of their name and make endorsement deals.
Student athletes have never been able to make a single dollar off any revenue they bring into their schools, simply because most people will say they already get scholarships and have a chance to make millions. However, very few ever get to make their favorite sport a career, so it is not right to have these athletes have zero health coverage and not make any money during their time as a student athlete. They are essentially working for their schools, bringing in millions of dollars and can’t even make money off of their own personalities or faces.
The debate on if student athletes being able to make money has been ongoing for decades and it is not a very hard one. Athletes sacrifice their brains and bodies constantly for their schools, and yet most will never be able to make money or play their sport ever again. In fact, the NCAA actually coined the term “student athlete” to provide legal cover and have no liability to athletes who suffer major injuries. By calling them “student athletes” they would therefore not be employees of the school and are responsible for their own health coverages.
Student athletes as of 2023, will be able to make money off their names, images and endorsement deals for the first ever, while playing sports for their respective schools. Although California received a very suggestive warning early on from the President of NCAA, Mark Emmert, who suggested that the act is unconstitutional and can result in California Universities being banned from championships or bowl games, they still passed the Act.
Once this was made public, a huge shift in support of California’s started brewing and started to really spark the debate.
The people on the side of athletes not getting paid will have quite a few arguments including, equal pay amongst all athletes or sports, free tuition, and the fine line between professional and collegiate sports.
One of the biggest debates is on the fairness of the way the athletes will get paid. Will every football player be paid the same, even if they are bench players? Will the golf team make as much as the rest of the big sports of the University? The answer is simple to those who are debating for that argument, no they will not.
What the Fair Pay to Play Act is putting in motion is to have athletes get paid off of their names, images and endorsements, so it will be based off the popularity of not only the athlete, but the sport and university they play for.
So why not let these kids who are sacrificing so much physically and mentally get paid, essentially off their performances? They will not be getting paid from the college’s themselves, so there is no harm to the University’s budget or revenues.
The second big issue many have is the fact that they are already getting a full scholarship most of the time, so why do they need money?
It’s to live their lives outside of sports. Although they are getting their tuition and housing paid for, they still need money to eat and live their social lives outside of school and sports. At the end of the day, most student athletes are between the ages of 18-23 years old and need a hobby outside of sports and academics..
The last big concern is where the line between professionalism and collegiate begin and end. They think it will be harder to tell when you go from just a collegiate athlete to a paid athlete because they would be making money now. Well that should be fairly easy to differentiate as these athletes will again , not being paid from the college’s themselves but rather only be making off of smaller aspects of revenue like jersey sales and personal endorsement deals. Where as professional athletes can play for any organization they want and get much larger income off of anything they are used in and sign contracts that make their profession legitimate
Since California has passed this Act, the NCAA has been taking steps to spread it across the country, due to concerns of California being able to have a huge advantage in recruitment. They will start implementing some changes in 2021 that have yet to be announced. This is all a step in the right direction to get our future generation of athletes compensated for their time and effort for the Universities most of cheer for.
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