Is “Fair Pay to Play Act” the best choice?

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Is “Fair Pay to Play Act” the best choice?

What are the Initials of the writer of the article?

What are the Initials of the writer of the article?

Wikimedia Commons

What are the Initials of the writer of the article?

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

What are the Initials of the writer of the article?

California’s governor Gavin Newsom recently passed a new bill known as “Fair Pay to Play Act” on September 30th. This bill allows college athletes to receive payment for their names, images, and likenesses. After Newsom signed the bill into law, Florida proposed its own bill a day later. Many other states followed suit later in the week. California’s bill will go into effect on January 1st, 2023.

 

According to California Legislative Information, the measure says, “The bill would prohibit a student athlete from entering into a contract providing compensation to the athlete for use of the athlete’s name, image, or likeness if a provision of the contract is in conflict with a provision of the athlete’s team contract.” It also states, “The bill would prohibit a team contract from preventing a student athlete from using the athlete’s name, image, or likeness for a commercial purpose when the athlete is not engaged in official team activities, as specified.”

On HBO’s The Shop, Gavin Newsom said,  “It’s going to initiate dozens of other states to introduce similar legislation. And it’s going to change college sports for the better by having now the interest finally of the athletes on par with the interests of the institution. Now we are rebalancing that power.”

 

One professional athlete who has spoken out on the issue is LeBron James. He celebrated the new bill with a strong opinion on Instagram. James posted, “I’m so incredibly proud to share this moment with you. @gavinnewsom came to The Shop to do something that will change the lives of countless of athletes who deserve it! @uninterpretted hosted the formal signing for SB 206 which will allow college athletes to responsibly get paid for their name and likeness. To every one of you who have been in this fight (and there are a lot of you)- take a bow and be proud!!!! NCAA, you got the next move We can solve this for everyone!” 

The bill would prohibit a student athlete from entering into a contract providing compensation to the athlete for use of the athlete’s name, image, or likeness if a provision of the contract is in conflict with a provision of the athlete’s team contract…The bill would prohibit a team contract from preventing a student athlete from using the athlete’s name, image, or likeness for a commercial purpose when the athlete is not engaged in official team activities, as specified.”

— California Legislative Information

On the other hand, Tim Tebow was not nearly as sympathetic. A two-time national champion with the Florida Gators, he believes that this will take away from what makes college sports so extraordinary. “Now we’re changing it from ‘us’ from ‘we’ from ‘my university,’ being an alumni where I care, which makes college sports special, to ‘OK, it’s not about us, it’s not about we, it’s about me. And yes, I know we live in a selfish culture, where it’s all about us, but we’re just adding and piling it on to that. Where it changes what’s special about college football,” Tebow said on ESPN’s First Take. 

 

The NCAA has yet to respond to the media attention, but they are surely planning something to adjust with the coming changes. Board members think that giving students compensation will make collegiate sports too similar to professional sports. The NCAA also thinks that it will take away equality and fairness that make up college.  On the NCAA website the organization explains: “California Senate Bill 206 would upend that balance. If the bill becomes law and California’s 58 NCAA schools are compelled to allow an unrestricted name, image, and likeness scheme, it would erase the critical distinction between college and professional athletics and, because it gives those schools an unfair recruiting advantage, would result in them eventually being unable to compete in NCAA competitions. We urge the state of California to reconsider this harmful and, we believe, unconstitutional bill and hope the state will be a constructive partner in our efforts to develop a fair name, image, and likeness approach for all 50 states.” 

 

The NCAA may have something up their sleeves, but it doesn’t look like Governor Newsom is going to change his mind. Though some athletes and coaches have offered their support to the various bills, others have not. Regardless of popular opinion, the sporting world will have to wait until 2023 to see the ultimate changes coming in collegiate sports. 

 

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