Is the Fair Pay to Play Act fair enough?


College football is arguably one of the most prominent sports within the National Collegiate Athletic Association(NCAA). The popularity of the sport has only increased over the years as players from various teams around the country battle it out each week on primetime television. 

The NCAA has strict, no tolerance rules regarding players gaining monetary compensation from sponsorships, their likeness, or the use of their image. However, all of that could soon change. 

California has been the first state to officially pass the Fair Pay to Play Act. Meaning that athletic players are able to be paid for endorsements and sponsorships and are now allowed to promote products. Along with this new act, players are now permitted to also hire agents. Though California has been the only state to pass the law, other states such as Florida and Ohio are proposing bills that would do the same. California’s implementation of the act will not go into effect until 2023. However, Florida officials hope to implement the bill as early as 2020 if approved. 

Many are either hot or cold on the situation. One side argues that paying college athletes would take the heart out of the game. Others believe that paying athletes present new and better opportunities for the players and their families. 

Sports broadcaster and former quarterback for the Florida Gators and Denver Broncos, Tim Tebow had no problem expressing his opinion. While being interviewed on ESPN’s First Take, Tebow said “I think you take a lot of the authenticity and realness of college football away.” 

Tebow received a significant amount of backlash after he voiced his opinion. Much of the criticism spawned from people who felt that Tebow was privileged enough to afford his dream school and not have to worry about his finances as much as others. Therefore, he could not speak for every college athlete. Social media outlets, such as Twitter, always seem to have critics from every side to address opinions on matters such as these and much of the feedback did seem to side with passing the Fair Pay to Play Act. 

Though this is a highly debatable topic, giving the players the ability to benefit from the likeness of their image isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The amount of training, work, and dedication that a college athlete puts into their craft should be rewarded. The argument that paying athletes would take the heart out of the game is understandable however, college athletes have a spot every weekend on primetime television viewed by millions of people each week. Fans look forward to watching their alma mater or Heisman hopeful in action every weekend and kids look up to their favorite player and hope to maybe someday be in their shoes. 

The athletes wouldn’t be offered NFL-sized money and still be able to provide for themselves. Many fans are also hoping the passing of this bill in various states could  potentially bring back the beloved NCAA Football video game. Production of the game stopped in 2014 after a legal issue concerning the likeness and image of players. Though there is still much to discuss among the different states and the NCAA, only time will tell how each state will go about the issue.