Should College Athletes be Paid?


Chris Urban, Editor

California governor Gavin Newsom has signed SB 206, also known as the Fair Pay to Play Act, a bill that gives student athletes the ability to earn money from the use of their names, images, and likeness. The bill is scheduled to go into effect in 2023 but is expected to face legal challenge by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). This development has caused civil discourse throughout America, and touches the morals of every American. Let’s take a look at he pros and cons of this pending bill.

Govenor Newson had this to say about the bill, “collegiate student athletes put everything on the line — their physical health, future career prospects and years of their lives to compete. Colleges reap billions from these student athletes’ sacrifices and success but, in the same breath, block them from earning a single dollar,” he said in a statement. “That’s a bankrupt model — one that puts institutions ahead of the students they are supposed to serve. It needs to be disrupted.” Newsom certainly has a fair point, especially because the universities benefit from these athletes the most, not the athletes themselves. But on the other hand, people will say that the universities spoil these athletes with excellent facilities and opportunities to play the game they love, and thus should not be payed. Why should a star athlete get big dollars, but not a student among the top of a class? Also what is the incentive of an athlete under this new bill to pursue academic interests and do well if they are getting payed elsewhere.  The NCAA has three years to digest the bill, with the more likely outcome that the NCAA deems the bill unconstitutional. The NCAA wants no business in athletes being payed, as it is an organization that supports athletes achieving in school and does not want to cloud the college image.

The bill doesn’t specify the amount of money these athletes would be payed and also doesn’t take into account the fact that these high flying college athletes will most likely get big dollars anyway professionally. College is college, and there shouldn’t be controversy surrounding who gets payed and who doesn’t. It’s a very divisive issue that will only make big time colleges more suspicious to the eye of most Americans.