Many are in favor of California’s new law regarding college athletes being able to get paid from their own likeness. There are also a plethora of misconceptions regarding this law and perhaps we can try to clear this up for the fans. This law is not truly a pay for play deal like people are perturbed about. Pay for play allows a college to provide a contract, similar to the NFL contracts, and understanding that a player can be cut for not fulfilling the terms of this contract.
In turn, this law will allow players to make money off their likeness. You might be asking what does this mean for a player under contract? It means players can be In commercials, run camps during their offseason, and possibly even make prime appearances at large events for monetary purposes. Here in America, we have bought into capitalism so why are we not allowing capitalism for these young athletes?
One opposing argument to this new law came from former Florida Gators star quarterback Tim Tebow “I feel like I have little credibility and knowledge about this because when I was at the University of Florida , I think my jersey was one of the top-selling jerseys around the world… but I didn’t make a dollar from it. Nor did I want to.” Tebow said on a live broadcast.
That may be fine for Tebow if he doesn’t want that money. No one says you have to take the money, you can always make a monetary donation to a charitable cause and make an impact beyond yourself. Tim Tebow also came from privilege though; which there is nothing wrong with that. There are many that come from amazing hard working families working in the middle class; however, the majority of the cases we hear about are from players don’t have a similar story.
A lot of stories we hear about in professional sports come from players growing up with mothers whom worked multiple jobs to put food on the table and provide basic daily necessities. Tebow is sending the classic message of privilege which is, I didn’t struggle therefore no one else struggles as a young athlete. Tim Tebow went on to state that college football so great because no one is paid which makes college athletics so popular. This could not be further from the truth. Spectators do not attend college games because the players are unpaid. This is absolutely illogical and absurd. College football remains popular due to Alumni involvement and participation in games as well as the current student body throughout the years. Spectator fan base continues to grow.
Another argument heard from people is this is a gateway to pay for play. This is a gateway to pay for play just as much as smoking weed is a gateway to meth. Just remember if you are on the highway and the government changes the speed limit from 55 mph to 65 mph that does not mean that the following year officials are going to raise the speed limit to 85. Ridiculous!
One concerning argument surfacing is in regards to the possibility of creating opportunities of fraudulent activities in college sports. Guess what people; a high rate of fraud already exists in the NCAA. It turns out, the FBI is currently investigating the NCAA for paying players in a fraudulent manner! Now that’s understandable at the end of the day, there will be unintended consequences with this law. For example; schools with more money, like the Oregon Ducks, are sponsored by the owner of Nike. Nike could, in turn, endorse selected students for commercials resulting in attracting additional young plater. This is life! The upper class will always entertain more opportunities than others; however, why shouldn’t college athletes make their monetary worth and have sponsors pay that bill? There is a possibility that this law will create backdoor fraudulence but sketchy people tend to do sketchy things no matter the rules; the NCAA has proven that in the past.
There was a statement made recently heard from some individuals that athletes should be happy to get free gear for signing with the team. This could possibly be a bad argument because players receive free gear due to sponsorships with Under Armor, Nike, Adidas, etcetera. Colleges and companies force players to wear endorsement clothing due to sponsorship money that the athletes will never see.
An additional argument regarding this law, pertains to the top 5% of athletes as they will reap the monetary benefits. Many believe this law will positively affect more than 5% of players, while it may affect the top 5% of the players the most financially. There are additional players that will be affected positively, some may think, “I would rather make 200 dollars for food than make 0 dollars.” We have all worked that job where the bad employees set the tone for the rest of the crew. This means that the team gets punished for an individual’s idiocy. There is no doubt anyone in that situation hated being punished over a bad employee so why should we punish the top 5% of athletes because it may not appear to be fair. Currently, no one is getting paid; therefore, 5% percent is better than 0%.
Herm Edwards, our beloved Arizona State University coach has some issues with the California law. Herm Edwards has expressed his fear that this law will give California teams an unfair advantage. Understanding his concern since he battles University of California Los Angeles, University of Southern California, and California in the pac-12; however, I do believe that is a little nearsighted. It can be very much so that Arizona will most likely pass this law as it will help their football teams as well as provide the same advantage to the rest of the teams. For example; Alabama is known for their defensive line. This means if you are a defensive linemen and desire to play in the NFL, you are still more likely to play for Alabama than UCLA. Also, presuming there’s not a better places to play in the middle of winter than in Arizona state. Instead of playing in snow during home games, a player can experience an 80 degree game. This is definitely one advantage for Arizona State University.
One final argument regards women athletes. “Why is it that the only time women are included politically into a conversation is when we are anti something?” Women’s athletics will be fine, the NCAA will still profit billions of dollars from this law and will be able to afford to put on women’s athletics. Colleges are not allowed to directly pay students so this law will not affect the profit line negatively, in fact, this law may affect profits positively.
Change is always uncomfortable and scary. It’s understandable the argumentative push backs from sports “experts” and fans because we are dealing with amateur athletes and fighting for a new era with a new trend. There are so many that genuinely think this law is great for football at a college level as well as the NFL! The NBA thrives in this generation due to star power and social media. If the NFL can find a way to allow players to become stars in college, retain and retract their star power players, this organization will be able to attract a younger audience like the NBA. The NFL doesn’t need to become baseball where their spectators are literally dying on them.