As many paying attention to the sports world have already heard, a legislative bill will soon reach the desk of the governor of California that will promote the “fair pay” of college athletes. This bill will not allow universities to directly pay their players. Rather, it would allow college athletes to sign endorsement deals and hire agents.
I have to ask myself, “Why would anyone have a problem with this?”
We cannot act as if college athletics are not themselves completely reliant upon corporate sponsorships and endorsements. Every halftime show has a sponsor, every stadium named after some sort of corporation. Hell, it seems like each college football team I watch has a business associated with each first and third down. Soon enough, businesses will be dueling it out to see who gets to sponsor the pre-game stretches.
Can we also point out that it isn’t only college athletics that is consumed by sponsorship and endorsements, but just colleges in general? Look around anywhere on UVU campus and you’d think that UCCU owns the place. Each building you see is named after one wealthy donor or another.
Yet it would be the highest of crimes to allow a student athlete to make money off of their athletic efforts. People couldn’t stand to see “Frischknecht Fries” at Chick-Fil-A or Tarawhiti t-shirts at the UVU bookstore.
It’s high time we allow college athletes to support themselves through talents they’ve worked night-and-day to develop. We cannot have continued stories of athletes going hungry while Nick Saban makes 7.9 million dollars a year off of salary alone.
The change being implemented in California is a step in the right direction, and it would be smart for state legislatures to do the same. With all of the money athletes bring into state institutions, maybe it would be nice if they could make a little money for themselves.