This past week one of the most historic bills successfully passed in California’s House & Senate possibly changing the structure of sports and colleges as we know it. SB 206, or the “Fair Pay to Play Act” is a bill that will grant California student-athletes the right to legally get paid from endorsements. This bill is so imperative because it is LONG OVERDUE!
Founded in 1906, the NCAA is a nonprofit organization that currently generates billions of dollars each year off the backs of college athletes. Out of the billions of dollars the NCAA makes in revenue; collegiate football and basketball heavily make up the bulk interest and money brought in. Unfortunately, however, due to bias strategic laws made by the NCAA, college athletes have never been able to legally be compensated for their craft. Yes, this means it was illegal for college athletes to sign their name and get paid for it!
You see, given America’s historical bias upon wealth and race, it is very easy to see why the NCAA wouldn’t want a bill as such to pass. If you were to view successful college basketball and football programs, one would notice that they consist of having many black players. Not solely, but many of these black athletes attribute to divisional and college championships. As a result, the school receives money in many different ways (brand awareness, divisional payouts, advertisements endorsement, TV deals, etc). The only thing a collegiate athlete can show for is a piece of paper called a degree. And while most haters (of athletes getting paid) want to correlate a school’s tuition with the value of a degree, they simply are not the same! In fact, a college degree doesn’t even guarantee you a job in 2019! However, the opportunity to receive local endorsement deals and market/brand yourself as an athlete is imperative for business and a way for college athletes to provide back to their families back home.
In a recent interview, past NCAA champion Tim Tebow went on air to show his support for the current denial of athletes getting paid. The major problem with Tim’s stance is that he cannot empathize with the majority of black athletes on scholarship! You see, Tim Tebow was fortunate to have something that many current student-athletes do not have; access to family with money! There have been countless examples of athletes who didn’t have enough money to eat, fly their family out to see them play, or to simply live outside of a dorm due to rent. Moreover, the fact that Tim Tebow and others don’t agree is not the biggest problem, but rather the apathy/negligence of understanding business practices as it applies to college athletes. Collegiate athletes bring in billions of dollars, as a result they need to be compensated for their work and merit (outside of getting a degree).
The NCAA and college school system have beautifully mastered the art of rhetoric to deny athletes the right to get paid in hopes of a “promising professional career”. Coaches such as Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney have signed million dollar contracts to annually get compensated for coaching, but college athletes can’t receive any of this? SB 206 is providing a much needed lane for college athletes that deserve to be compensated for what they are bringing in revenue. Moreover, with the success of SB 206, we look forward to more states following suit.
The NCAA has long abused its power over college athletes and is finally getting a tasted of their own medicine. Those that don’t support are simply haters who don’t want to see young athletes compensated for their craft.
See NCAA’s response below:
“The NCAA Board of Governors sent a letter Wednesday to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, making clear its belief that this bill would wipe out the distinction between college and professional athletics and eliminate the element of fairness that supports all of college sports. Text of the letter follows:
The 1,100 schools that make up the NCAA have always, in everything we do, supported a level playing field for all student-athletes. This core belief extends to each member college and university in every state across the nation.
California Senate Bill 206 would upend that balance. If the bill becomes law and California’s 58 NCAA schools are compelled to allow an unrestricted name, image and likeness scheme, it would erase the critical distinction between college and professional athletics and, because it gives those schools an unfair recruiting advantage, would result in them eventually being unable to compete in NCAA competitions. These outcomes are untenable and would negatively impact more than 24,000 California student-athletes across three divisions.
Right now, nearly half a million student-athletes in all 50 states compete under the same rules. This bill would remove that essential element of fairness and equal treatment that forms the bedrock of college sports.
The NCAA continues to focus on the best interests of all student-athletes nationwide. NCAA member schools already are working on changing rules for all student-athletes to appropriately use their name, image and likeness in accordance with our values — but not pay them to play. The NCAA has consistently stood by its belief that student-athletes are students first, and they should not be employees of the university.
It isn’t possible to resolve the challenges of today’s college sports environment in this way — by one state taking unilateral action. With more than 1,100 schools and nearly 500,000 student-athletes across the nation, the rules and policies of college sports must be established through the Association’s collaborative governance system. A national model of collegiate sport requires mutually agreed upon rules.
We urge the state of California to reconsider this harmful and, we believe, unconstitutional bill and hope the state will be a constructive partner in our efforts to develop a fair name, image and likeness approach for all 50 states.
Members of the NCAA Board of Governors
- Stevie Baker-Watson, DePauw University
- M. Grace Calhoun, University of Pennsylvania
- Ken Chenault, General Catalyst
- Mary Sue Coleman, Association of American Universities
- John DeGioia, Georgetown University
- Michael Drake, The Ohio State University
- Philip DiStefano, University of Colorado, Boulder
- Mark Emmert, NCAA
- Sue Henderson, New Jersey City University
- Grant Hill, CBS/Warner and The Atlanta Hawks
- Sandra Jordan, University of South Carolina Aiken
- Renu Khator, University of Houston
- Laura Liesman, Georgian Court University
- Ronald Machtley, Bryant University
- The Rev. James Maher, Niagara University
- Denis McDonough, Former White House Chief of Staff
- Tori Murden McClure, Spalding University
- Gary Olson, Daemen College
- Denise Trauth, Texas State University
- Satish Tripathi, University at Buffalo, the State University of New York
- David Wilson, Morgan State University
- Randy Woodson, North Carolina State University