Bill to pay collegiate student athletes

Joey Balleweg

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Imagine being a student while working full time, where all your effort is either going to school or work with no in between. You’re working for one of the biggest corporations in the country, and from the outside, everything looks great. You’re going to school; you have a job and people around you enjoy what you bring to the community. 

Now let’s add one more aspect to this hypothetical story: You won’t get paid, ever, for the job you do while you’re attending university. Yes, you work every minute you’re not focusing on school, but that doesn’t matter. Sure, you put your body and mind on the line every time you go to work, but no one really cares. You don’t play for yourself, you play for the team, they say. You’ll have to find time to make real money between your “job” and classes. 

Here lies the college athlete conundrum, putting their lives on the line, and getting nothing in return. California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Fair Pay to Play Act which allows college athletes to make money off of their likeness and sign agents. While the NCAA disagrees with the bill, they’ll have no choice but to adjust their rules. 

Sports icons around the nation like LeBron James and Coach Mike Krzyzewski have spoken out supporting the law. James, who’s show “The Shop” introduced the Fair Pay to Play Act, says “I understand what those kids are going through. I feel for those kids who’ve been going through it for so long. So, that’s why it was personal to me.”

“We need to stay current with what’s happening,” Krzyzewski said. “I’m glad it was passed, because it pushes the envelope a little, it pushes the issue.”

It’s the reason we see so many college athletes leave school before graduating; they need to become professionals as quick as possible, to provide for their families and themselves. 

If other states and the NCAA follow California in allowing college athletes to make money off of their likeness, more students will stay in school and earn their degrees. James would’ve attended Ohio State if this was the case, but”…coming from just me and my mom, we didn’t have anything. We wouldn’t have been able to benefit at all from it,” he stated.

As California’s so far ahead of the country on the topic of college athletes being paid, we can only hope this leads to all universities justly paying athletes for their skill and time.

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