Fair Pay to Play Act lets California college athletes get paid

Bianca Lopez, Staff Writer

A California law has recently passed stating that college athletes will be allowed to promote products and brands, earning them a monetary “salary.” However, the NCAA is completely against this saying that athletes should only receive educational money.

Participation in college athletics seems so simple to most. People think all they have to do is play the sport they love while getting their academics paid for however they are put under an immense amount of pressure without receiving recognition for their hard work. It is often the most rigorous part of their college experience, for they are required to practice every day of the week while simultaneously managing school work and a social life.

Despite the misconception that all these athletes receive full funded scholarships, many of these division one colleges do not offer athletic scholarships to all players, meaning that some athletes are paying out of pocket just to put so much work into a system that colleges are making millions from.

According to BusinessInsider.com, the NCAA brings in $1 billion dollars annually. So should they be getting paid? 

“I do [think we should be getting paid] because the majority of our time, that could be going to a part-time job is now devoted to athletics. We don’t accumulate any revenue whereas we could if we weren’t on a team,” says Allie Jones, a sophomore on Stanford’s women’s Track and Field team.

“I don’t. I think that would kind of take away from the college aspect of it,” Senior Stanford baseball player Zach Grech counters. “But, I do think we should be able to get compensated for our image. I think the NCAA needs to kind of get off our backs a little more, let us have jobs without telling them, and stuff like that.”

Critics of college athletics believe that athletes get everything handed to them and do not have to work for their success. However, after interviewing these athletes, it is clear that they are not given any special privileges.

“It’s not just like showing up to your sport and like not caring about school. It’s being able to balance everything and trying to do that at an elite level,” Cal baseball player and Serra HS alum Mitchell Scott,‘18, says.

He wishes people knew how much time goes into not only playing a sport but representing the school in a positive academic light.

“I’d say [I put in] like 40 hours a week,” says Grech. 40 hours of a minimum wage job in Palo Alto could earn him around $600 dollars a week, but he is getting paid none.

“I think one of the biggest misconceptions I’ve encountered is that student-athletes get specific privileges. We definitely work very hard for everything we earn and nothing is really ever handed to us,” USD softball player and NDB alumna Madi Earnshaw, ‘18, says.

Despite the image that college athletes live a glamorous life of minimal school work and numerous extra benefits, this is not the case. Athletes are putting in an extensive amount of time to further their skills in their certain sport while balancing a beneficial education that will ensure their success in the future. So no, college athletics is not an easy way into college, college athletics is a representation of one’s hard work paying off and accomplishing one of the greatest sports achievements.

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