California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed off the pay to play act, allowing athletes to get paid for their likeness earlier this year.
Recently, the National Collegiate Athletic Association followed California’s footsteps and will allow athletes to make money based on their name and likeness.
Current college athletes will begin to make money right off their backs. Collegiate athletes who may be qualified for endorsements from shoe lines, energy drinks and more, will finally be able to profit from their hard work and commitment to their sport.
At the end of the day, any sports league is a business, and the NCAA is no exception. The NCAA produce an estimated $1.1 billion dollars a year, and many of the athletes do not receive any portion of the revenue.
College sport coaches are able to acquire multi-million dollar deals, primarily in basketball and football. Albeit, the college athletes that are producing foot traffic and revenue by selling out 100 thousand seat stadiums in places like Ann Arbor, Mich. — facilities larger than the average NFL fields— don’t profit from the money made during these games.
Due to the new NCAA law, student athletes are now permitted to accept deals with brands such as Nike or Adidas. Colleges with good athletic programs can accept a maximum of 20 million dollars through brand promotions, and athletes are the reason why colleges are currently making such a huge profit margin.
Many argue that free education should be enough of a “paycheck” for these college students, yet it’s not enough. In my time covering high school sports, many of the athletes that I interact with who have moved on to the next level, have shared stories about the dark side of college sports— being broke, not having enough for food, barely having enough time to study and so on.
Yes, almost all college students struggle to balance personal to school life, but people aren’t paying to watch someone take a test; they’re paying to watch student athletes perform in sports games.
This is similar to what current San Francisco 49ers cornerback and former Stanford University player Richard Sherman shared — stating that, many times, his bank account would feature more negative numbers than positives.
This new ruling will benefit the future of all college athletes. For example, success in college does not necessarily translate to the NFL or NBA. Athletes like Jamarcus Russell and Ryan Leaf are examples of student athletes that didn’t end up making it as professionals. That should not take credit away from what they did in college. If this rule was implemented during their tenure, it would have been a great source of income for these athletes, considering their professional careers didn’t pan out as predicted.
If the NCAA is going to operate like a business, it should allow its foundation to make money off of what they do. There is still time to add and modify any ideas to this law, as it won’t take effect until 2023 in California.