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Paying collegiate athletes for using their name, likeness, and image has been controversial for a while now. Last year the NCAA decided to take steps toward this instead of penalizing states like California for passing the Fair Pay to Play Act. Other states decided to follow California passing or considering similar measures.


The Fine Print


The NCAA doesn’t always follow through on their plans. Some wonder if they will give college athletes what they deserve. The Act states that college athletes can use their full name, likeness, and image to make money. The Fair Pay to Play Act’s purpose was to give college athletes access to what all other Americans get, the free marketplace. Many believe the NCAA has unfair rules when it comes to paying and playing. While the NCAA, along with TV networks and colleges, rake in the money, athletes get nothing. They’re the ones responsible for generating wealth, but they cannot share in the riches.


The Background


Individual states cannot let up when it comes to rights for student-athletes. The NCAA has been evaluated a few times in the past to make big changes. Sometimes they ignore these reforms. In 2017, the NCAA formed a commission lead by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as chair. She stated students should be able to use their name, image, and likeness to make money. The NCAA didn’t act on this for more than a year. NCAA’s traditional collegiate model barred athletes from making any money from their name or image. They didn’t even let swimmers teach swim lessons. These athletes did not have access to the free market.


The Now


NCAA President Mark Emmert says he does want to work with Congress to change these ways. He does not want to leave it up to the states. This sounds promising, but no one knows if it will stick.


Join the fight for college athletes if you’re in a state that has not yet passed similar legislation. Let the athletes, colleges, universities, and leaders join hands to bring in money and recognition for all. This will help laws like Fair Pay to Play Act change the way sports and athletes come together throughout the country.