California Fair Pay To Play Act provides athletes new opportunities

Story by Jacob Phillips, Online Editor

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In California, a new law has been passed that will allow college athletes to receive payments for their names and likeness.  For years the NCAA has profited billions of dollars off of the brand of their student-athletes. The Fair Pay To Play Act was signed by California governor  Gavin Newsom with LeBron James and Ed O’Bannon seated next to him.

“Colleges reap billions from student athletes but block them from earning a single dollar. That’s a bankrupt model,” Newsom said via Twitter. 

This opens new opportunities for college athletes in the state of California. They can now hire managers and build their brand before going pro. They can even get paid for endorsements and sponsor summer camps. 

While the law does not allow for student athletes to be paid by their schools, they can still earn a profit through those endorsements and further their education. 

Athletes being paid by schools is a federal crime and recently scandals have taken over the NCAA. Schools have paid athletes under the table hoping it will persuade them to come to their schools. In 2018, a large scandal of this type affected 24 high caliber D-1 schools in men’s basketball.  Hopefully, this new law will provide an opportunity for these scandals to cease.

For some reason, the NCAA continues to fight the California law describing it as “unconstitutional.” The NCAA feels that this law could lead to the professionalization of the college game and cause unintentional consequences. However, many believe the NCAA is just upset that their athletes will be able to make money, causing the NCAA to lose some hold over their athletes. Others are confused since the NCAA isn’t gaining or losing any money from the law.

“It’s kinda ironic to me the NCAA will continue to fight this, and nobody is taking money out of their pocket directly,” NBA player Draymond Green said in an interview with CNN. “The Dictatorship [NCAA] wants to continue to go by the same system that has been broken for years.”

This law will hopefully attract more student athletes to attend college. The college game is an important step in developing a player’s game before going pro, but many athletes can’t live comfortably without a source of income and end up leaving the school too quick. Now they are in a situation where they can make money and sign endorsements, hopefully giving them the opportunity to stay in school longer and afford to live their lives.

Unfortunately, this law is only specific to the State of California. It’s time the rest of the nation does as California did and provide student athletes the opportunity to make a profit off their name. The NCAA has taken advantage of these young athletes and their growing name and popularity for too long. 

College athletes put themselves at risk of career-ending injuries, especially in sports like football, where injury rates tend to be very high. By providing athletes the opportunity to make money while they play, it makes the risks worth it. This way, if they get hurt they have money to fall back on if their scholarship gets pulled. 

The positives that the Fair Pay To Play Act creates for student athletes will provide them with much needed financial stability. Athletes will no longer need to struggle throughout their college years to get money to live life. 

The NCAA has gained a bad reputation full of corruption: they have made billions off of their athletes without those athletes making a penny of it. This law hopefully will pave the way for reform in NCAA policy as it is only a matter of time before the rest of the nation passes similar laws. This law creates great opportunities for college athletes and will hopefully do nothing but good.