NCAA players are about to get paid!
In California, and sort of.
Californian NCAA athletes will now be able to profit off of their name and likeness, meaning players could make money off of such things as video games and personal merchandise. Something which to this point has not been allowed by the NCAA.
Up to this point, college athletes have been considered amateur and therefore are unpaid. However, when one takes a look at the sheer popularity and profits that come with NCAA sports, it is hard to understand why the players get no bit in it.
With the new law, it would still not allow players to be paid for their sporting services. However, if a swimmer wants to teach independent swimming lessons, or an athlete wants to write a book- they will be allowed to profit off such ventures.
The government of California elected on Wednesday to allow players to hire agents and make money, bringing the bill to the last step of becoming law. Although it has passed through all of the tough levels of government, the governor still has to sign off. Currently, the NCAA is urging governor Gavin Newsom to refrain from signing the bill because it could harm the integrity of the collegiate sports organization.
In a letter sent to the public on Wednesday, the NCAA said the new legislation would be “unconstitutional” and that it would create an “unfair recruiting advantage.”
The collegiate sports organization also went on to say that if passed, California schools would have to be Phased out of NCAA competition in order to keep the integrity of American collegiate sports.
Sport superstars and such as NBA All-Star Lebron James have spoken openly on the pay issue in the past, and have even done so on the current situation in California. James’ tweet below shows one of the biggest names vouching his support for the students, although his push is unlikely to sway the NCAA’s mind.
Governor Gavin Newsom has 30 days to decide wether to sign the bill into law, and if he does- it would change American collegiate sport in a drastic way.
As for public opinion, the sides are split. There are many parties which would like to see players continue to offer their services for free, and be uncompensated- seeing as many already receive highly discounted education to play on the highly regarded teams. Other parties on the other hand have differing views- which are aligning with the views of those within the Californian government.
Whichever way this decision goes, university sport within the united states will continue to be a contentious issue, while also being the pathway to the pros for many an athlete.