The NCAA’s untamed green animal

Sam TapperSports Writer

Over the course of history, there has been no greater sin to NCAA officials than paying a student athlete.

We have seen players removed from school for it, coaches fired and even some national championships revoked. Since the dawn of the NCAA, it’s been written that college athletes should not be paid.

However, in 2019, it is becoming very likely that college athletes will be paid, but not in the way one may think. This calls for a dive into something the State of California is calling, “The Fair Pay to Play Act.”

According to Sports Illustrated’s Jenna West, the proposed California bill would, “allow college athletes to be paid for use of their name, likeness and image” while being enrolled at their respective college or university.

It is important to note the intricacies of this bill, as there is a lot to take in. The most important aspect being that it will not be the schools’ pockets that the money is coming from. Instead, this bill would allow for college athletes to sign with agents and negotiate endorsements with outside companies like Nike or Adidas.

While Lakers superstar Lebron James has expressed support for the bill, the NCAA is fighting this to no end, and notwrongfully so. A letter they sent to California Governor Gavin Newsome described the legislation as “unconstitutional.”

While I would not go that far, I do not believe that the “Fair Pay to Play Act” is the long-awaited savior so many student-athletes have been hoping for.

You must remember, at the end of the day, the money that these athletes are making is for their institution. That has always been the case, so, why can schools not pay it back in the form of a stipend?

College athletes should not be already making millions of dollars – they are students. However, they should be given enough so they can live well enough and not be “going to bed starving” as former UConn Husky basketball star Shabazz Napier put it in 2014.

College athletes deserve what they are owed, but allowing agents and contract negotiations to be a part of college athletics would open the door for even more corruption than there is today, and endorsements would quickly dominate the landscape. It would simply become too great an animal to tame. As of Sept. 11, Gov. Newsome has 30 days to sign or veto the bill.

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