Weighing In On Paying Athletes

October 18, 2019

I wanted to share some thoughts and get your feedback on California Gov. Gavin Newsom signing a bill in September that beginning in 2023, will allow college athletes to get paid for their name, image or likeness through endorsement deals, sponsorships, autograph signings and other income opportunities.

It should come as no surprise to you or anyone else that the NCAA, the governing body of college athletics, opposes the bill, claiming it could lead to an unfair recruiting advantage which I agree with. I don't agree with the fact it would blur the lines between a college and pro athlete. In this Washington Post article  NCAA President Mark Emmert, according to a letter he sent to California lawmakers in July, the move could result in the NCAA pulling national championship events from the state.

Sounds a bit cruel doesn't it?

I believe college athletes should be able to earn pay for the usage of their names and likeness. 

This is fair and equitable. 

Being a former college athlete and high school coach who has put dozens of athletes into college, I have a better insight into this than most.  As a college athlete you spend a tremendous amount of time year round, preparing for your sport. Universities make millions, and the NCAA makes billions off of these athletes.

If you are a top player, you may receive a scholarship. That scholarship money pays for your room, food, and tuition. In return an athlete performs. Performing during the collegiate year. That is fair. We are talking about the athletes name and likeness being exploited, which is not fair. It is not fair that even when school is not in session, the athlete has to train to perform at a top level.  In some cases athletes  sustain injuries that affect them for the rest of their lives.

That is not fair. 

I believe Connecticut should follow suit with California who has passed this law, and Illinois who has introduced this law, among others.