By Eric Abruzzi, Simon Brady and Elisabeth Kip
For years there has been debate on whether or not college athletes should get paid. Recently, California passed a law that allows college athletes to get paid. The bill is called the Fair Pay to Play Act and it allows college athletes in California to profit from their name, image, and likeness. They are allowed to sign endorsements and all types of licensing contracts and are even allowed to hire agents to represent them in deals.
The governor of California sat down with famous athletes like LeBron James, Diana Taurasi, Ed O’Bannon, and others to discuss how important this is for college athletes.
Each side has valid arguments supporting their viewpoint. One main argument favoring paying college athletes is how specifically Division I programs with esteemed football and basketball programs make a sizeable profit for a product created by unpaid players. Also, 24 schools make at least $100 million annually from their athletic departments. The NCAA made close to $1.1 billion in revenue during 2017.
For the other side, one of their main arguments is scholarships. Most athletes receive scholarships that cover room and board, books, etc. Students understand what the money is being used for. But now if athletes can make money, where will scholarships go? It could be harmful for athletes to make that kind of money at such a young age, not knowing how to manage it.
Also, if salaries are earned then the students would have to start paying taxes. If athletes are only focused on money, they will want to go to the schools where they could make the most money and then start focusing more on themselves rather than their team.
This could be a great thing for college athletes. They would finally get the recognition they deserve, but it could be a harmful thing too. This topic will continue to raise questions on how much money the athletes will make.
Will it only be based off their likeness? Or will revenue from the programs become a factor for how much they earn? Questions will continue to surface and the future of the NCAA is unclear going forward.