College Athletes Finally Recognized

College sports is a well-funded industry, but some people feel as though the players are not getting the recognition they truly deserve. State senators Nancy Skinner (D-CA) and Steven Bradford (D-CA) are currently working towards a bill to ensure college athletes are getting paid. This is something the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) currently prohibits. The issue recently gained attention when Katelyn Ohashi, a gymnast for UCLA, was threatened with removal from the NCAA if she decided to monetize the video of the perfectly-scored routine she had performed against Ohio State University earlier this year.

Nancy Skinner wants to give college athletes the right to their name, image and likeness. If SB-206, the Fair Pay To Play Act, passes, college athletes in California will finally be able to sign marketing deals with popular sporting brands as well as sell jerseys with their names on them without the fear of facing any sort of consequence for doing so. If Sens. Skinner and Bradford manage to get the Fair Pay To Play act passed, universities in the state of California will not be allowed to reduce a student athlete’s scholarship if they make money off of their sport. If passed, the Fair Pay To Play act would begin to take effect in 2023. Although it is currently only relevant in California, many other states may soon follow the state's lead.

Hayley Hodsun, a former volleyball player for Stanford University, goes on to explain how empowering the Fair Pay To Play Act could be for all college athletes. It could easily motivate them to make the most of their skills and talents as well as encourage these athletes to take back their freedom from the NCAA.

What could keep the Fair Pay To Play Act from passing is the assumption that the NCAA would no longer allow universities in California to participate in championships. If the NCAA were to follow through with this threat, it would be considered a violation of the anti-trust law, which is a collection of government laws that regulate the organization of businesses who promote competition for the benefit of consumers.

Proponents say this act could motivate college athletes to play better, but it would also teach them about how marketing within the athletics industry really works.

It seems as though the NCAA has no interest in sharing the power they hold. If Sens. Nancy Skinner and Steven Bradford get the Fair Pay To Play Act passed, all college athletes in the state of California will receive a fairly large cut of the multi-billion dollar industry. The NCAA believes that this cut could hurt their business as well as prevent them from having control over athletes who play for universities in California. The idea of setting a trust fund up for college athletes in California has been proposed to show the NCAA that money would not cause chaos to ensue within college athletics. The trust fund would begin to accumulate interest when an athlete starts off as freshman, and would not have access to it until they have officially graduated from whichever university they had been attending.

Although the Fair Pay To Play Act seems to be a well thought-out plan, some people may still be concerned about the disturbance of an entrenched or strict system. If and when the act is passed, many may finally see how beneficial the Fair Pay To Play Act truly is as well as how important it is for all college athletes to receive this type of recognition.