Fair Pay to Play Act

Jack Pittman, Copy Editor

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Last month, the California governor signed a bill allowing student athletes in California to receive financial compensation for their athletics, apart from the scholarships already available. This does not mean the schools will be paying the athletes directly, as that is still outlawed. However, the bill does allow student athletes to sign endorsements and use their likeness for a profit through sponsorships, video games, and more.

The NCAA among others are very opposed to this bill, believing it will cause a rift in college sports and hurt smaller schools. The belief is that this will cause college sports to become too similar to professional sports. Another argument is that athletes should play for the love of the game and for their school, not for profit. Tim Tebow is quoted as saying, “If I could support my team, support my college, support my university, that’s what it’s all about,” he said. “But now we’re changing it from ‘us’…from being an alumni where I care, which makes college sports special, to then okay it’s not about ‘us,’ it’s not about ‘we.’ It’s just about ‘me.'”

Others believe that this bill is a long time coming and will soon be passed in other states. The argument is that schools are unfairly profiting from the players but not allowing them to receive any of the money. The schools make money from ticket sales and jersey sales. This was very evident last year in the case of Zion Williamson playing for Duke. As he was easily the most popular player in the nation, he drove ticket prices in the UNC vs. Duke game last year to upwards of $3,000. People believe it is insane for the players to bring in this much money for a school and not make any money for their contributions. Their argument is also helped by players being forced to attend college for at least one year to be eligible to go pro, but that is another argument for another day.

In conclusion, the legislation allowing student athletes in California to profit off of their likeness is a highly debated and controversial topic that has no one correct answer.

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