For many years, paying college athletes has been a discussion. College athletes have been wanting to get paid, but they do not have the ability to make money despite all of the time and effort they put in. According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, NCAA, ontop of not getting paid directly college athletes could not offer their brand, get endorsements, sign a shoe deal, etc. However, all of that is about to change.
California signed a bill that challenged the NCAA and will allow college athletes to get paid. This law will allow them to use their name, brand, and any other commercial aspects. They will also be able to hire an agent which will help them transition faster into whatever sport they are going to play professionally. This bill will go into effect in California in 2023.
Athletes such as Lebron James and Richard Sherman have expressed their support for college athletes to make money during the season. “College athletes are workers” says Sherman. Not only do they work hard at their sport, because of the time they spend working out, traveling, practicing, and playing games on top of their studies, there athletes don’t often have time to have a real job.
Mark Emmert, NCAA president, thinks differently, “college athletics is about college students playing other college students, not employees playing employees.” Unfortunately for Emmert, athletes and voters alike disagree.
The debate over paying these athletes keeps heating up across California and the country. College Pulse, an online polling group, surveyed regular students from the schools to see where they stand on the issue. “What we found is the majority of students are in favor of paying student-athletes and give overwhelming support for allowing student athletes to profit off their name and image.” 80% of all students and 83% of athletes agreed that college athletes should be paid if their image is used for selling merchandise.
Justice Pele, a senior football player from Sultana High School said, “college athletes work as hard as professional athletes and spend most of their time working out and crafting their game so they should get paid and treated like professionals.”
James Wiseman, a former top basketball college athlete for the University of Memphis, was suspended for 12 games for violating the NCAA money policy. His family improperly accepted moving expenses while he was playing college ball. Wiseman eventually withdrew from the University of Memphis to prepare for the N.B.A draft. Memphis started off 11-0 with James Wiseman and now that Wiseman left they are 20-9 fighting for a tournament spot.
Luis Ortiz, a Sultana student, said “well maybe if the NCAA didn’t have these strict money policies, James Wiseman wouldn’t have left and Memphis would’ve been a top team.”
Athletes have been waiting for this law for many years and they are finally getting what they’ve wanted. Hopefully, this new change brings a reinvigoration to college sports.