By Joe Robben
One of the biggest questions around the college sports world right now is quite intriguing. Everyone is wondering if college athletes should receive money for their names, images and likenesses. California signed a bill that allows the state’s college athletes to accept endorsement deals by 2023, upending the decades-long precedent set by the NCAA to prevent collegiate athletes from being paid. Other states are supporting it and are starting to act. The NCAA argued against California’s bill, claiming it was “unconstitutional.” U.S. Congressman, Mark Walker, proposed a bill to change the federal tax code in a way that would likely force the NCAA to give all student-athletes the right to sell their names, images and likenesses. This is a huge move that would cause a lot of chaos for the NCAA to act upon.
While the NCAA has its own rules and regulations for its member institutions and athletes, it doesn’t have any ability to enforce actual laws. Many athletes spoke out about this move, including LeBron James, who said, “It’s a beautiful day for all college athletes going forward from this day on!” Some coaches, like Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, believe the law is simply a sign of changing times. Junior football player, Alex Burger, said, “This is good for the players since they make a big deal out of all the sports.” A national survey shows that 47% of Americans are in favor of the Fair Pay for Play Act in California, while only 20% oppose the measure. This shows that people believe that these athletes deserve to be paid for who they are. We will see what happens here soon as the NCAA has a lot to deal with on allowing these athletes to be paid.