A voice for the payment of collegiate athletes

Last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation allowing college athletes in California to be paid for endorsements and the use of their images. In addition, the legislation (SB 206), scheduled to go into effect in 2023,  prohibits the NCAA from banning those compensated athletes.

Currently, the NCAA does not allow its athletes to profit from their sports, even though the association is a multi-billion dollar professional enterprise.

Although these conflicting rules create a gray area that needs to be resolved, this is a win for all aspiring college athletes and the collegiate athletic industry. For decades, advocates’ calls for reforming the NCAA rulebook regarding athletes’ pay and images have gone unheard, but with this new state law, the association is forced to respond and compromise. (For another viewpoint, see the Opinion section at dbbullseye.com.)

Athletes in the NCAA compete at the highest level in terms of collegiate competition, and events such as the annual March Madness basketball tournament draw in millions of dollars in revenue for the NCAA. To prohibit these players, who are in the center of the tournament’s immense viewership and contribute to the NCAA’s profits, from any type of personal gain is immoral, which is highlighted by Gov. Newsom.

“Colleges reap billions from student-athletes but block them from earning a single dollar. That’s a bankrupt model,” Newsom said on Twitter.

As the organization is already reaping profits from the popularity of March Madness teams,  the NCAA should allow players the option of earning money for their own interests, which will balance the uneven relationship between the two entities.

Also, NCAA athletes in California will have the opportunity to work with brands and create their own identity, heavily impacting the longevity of their athletic career as well as their future. By starting up a new brand with a popular company, collegiate athletes can establish themselves as more than just a person who plays sports, opening up more opportunities to expand their brand popularity in the future.

Although the legislation conflicts with the NCAA on many levels, which may  impact conference competition throughout the nation and inconsistencies with recruiting high school athletes, the NCAA will have to come to terms with SB 206 and find a solution for its outdated rules not only with the state of California, but also with tthe nation because of California’s large athletic presence in the NCAA.