Student-athletes should not receive payment or bonuses, outside of scholarships, for participating in college athletics.
According to a report by The Los Angeles Times, on Sept. 11, The California State Assembly passed The Pay to Play Act, which “would allow college athletes to earn money from the use of their names, images and likenesses.” This new bill would violate the NCAA’s rule that prohibits student-athletes from receiving outside benefits. The NCAA sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom warning that “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.”
As a college athlete, I believe that college athletes should not be paid to play sports. In my experience of dealing with the NCAA rules, it is made very clear that in order to maintain an amateur status and play at the collegiate level, athletes must not receive outside compensation or special treatment just for being an athlete. These athletes have agreed to play under the University’s name, not their own.
While it may not be in monetary form, these athletes are compensated in other ways. Athletes in these programs are provided with nice facilities to train and compete in, as well as clothing and equipment. These athletes usually travel in comfort, stay at nicer hotels, and eat quality meals. They have access to nutritionists, athletic trainers and a large staff of specialized coaches. In addition, most of the athletes that would benefit from sponsorship deals are already on a full ride. Athletes are even allowed to receive stipends as part of their scholarship to cover additional educational costs.
The term “student-athlete” is significant. The word student comes before athlete for a reason. A meaningful education resulting in a degree is the main goal of college. Their sport is their passion- not their job, at least not yet. Even if these athletes do not advance to the professional level, they are leaving college debt-free, with a degree in hand.