NCAA Fair Pay
Photo Courtesy of Color of Change.

Fair Pay to Play Act

“Governor Gavin Newsome signed a bill to allow college athletes to hire agents and make money from endorsements. The measure, the first of its kind, threatens the business model of college sports,” writes Alan Blinder of the New York Times. 

This law allows college student athletes to strike endorsements deals and hire agents. Passed a little less than a month ago, it means thousands of student athletes will be allowed to promote products and companies. 

This law is expected to take effect in 2023. It’s referred to as the “Fair Pay to Play Act.” Ten other states, including Pennsylvania and New York, have proposed similar legislation. 

California is the first state to pass this law, but it may become a trend.

Salisbury athlete TJ Ellis says, “These athletes receiving money deserve it because being a [Division 1] athlete is like having a full-time job. They have dedicated a lot to achieve this. I think other states will start doing this because people are going to want to go to California to make money, therefor it will spread [in order for other states] to collect their prized athletes.

This law is likely to have a major impact on how athletes are recruited.

“It’s huge for recruiting. This is going to be a huge factor as to where top college athletes attend school,” Ellis said. 

The “Fair Pay to Play Act” became law Sept. 30, allowing student athletes to profit from their name, image, and popularity. They will also be able to hire agents to help them get endorsements and sponsorships. 

Experts feel there are many pros and cons to this new bill. One pro is that athletes are dedicated to the sport they are playing. Now that they can make money from it in college, this will only push athletes to achieve this goal. Another pro is an individual athlete’s name will get out faster, giving them more exposure and making it easier to be recruited to the pros, like the NFL or NBA. 

One con is in NCAA’s guidelines. “This guideline states that in order to stay in these tournaments, teams must not pay or promise pay to any player, meaning that any California team that pays their players will not be allowed to play in any NCAA tournaments like March Madness,” says student athlete Alexander Tabares. 

March Madness is one of the most popular sports events, and now these top athletes being paid will not be able to play in this tournament. This may disappoint sports fans and fans of certain athletes and college teams.

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