To Fight or Not to Fight: Compensation for College Athletes

It is common knowledge that professional athletes are paid extremely well.  Why is that?  Well, primarily due to the fact that we desire a consistent source of entertainment, and the entertainment that sports provide fills that void.

In order to provide the sports entertainment we yearn, professional athletes must devote a large portion of their lives to the continuous effort and practice needed to conduct such a production.  However, many individuals seem to forget that professional athletes aren’t the only athletes dedicating time and effort into creating a near perfect performance for their team and spectators.

College athletes also put in an extreme amount of time, practice, and dedication into their sport.  The same practice and dedication that professional athletes conduct, and the same consistent entertainment, that we, as Americans, yearn for. Considering that, shouldn’t college athletes be equally compensated?  Some people say yes, and some say no. One person among those who believe in compensating college athletes is New York Senator Kevin S. Parker (“Senator Parker”).

On September 16, 2019, Senator Parker introduced Bill 6722—A, a bill that would ultimately allow college athletes to sign endorsements, yet also enjoy a 15% of the income generated from ticket sales. Specifically, Senator Parker stated, “At the conclusion of each school year, each college shall take 15 percent of the revenue earned from ticket sales to all athletic events and divide and pay such amount to all student-athletes”.

Along with New York proposing Bill 6722—A, the state of California proposed Senate Bill 206, which is dubbed the “Fair Pay to Play Act.” The NCAA showed disapproval towards the Fair Pay to Play Act by issuing a letter to Governor Newsom of California.  The NCAA’s letter claims that the bill, “Would erase the critical distinction between college and professional athletics.”

Needless to say,  Senate Bill 206 has yet to be decided on – perhaps due to the NCAA’s disapproval or, perhaps, due to the drastic change in nature for college athletes. As of now, it is unknown when or how the Senate (in either New York or California) will decide, but as one would expect, many college’s and their athletes will be paying close attention to their decisions.

One thing is for sure; If either bill is decided, the NCAA will have to amend its own legislation and ensure equal footing for each and every college athlete under its control.


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