Reactions mixed on Fair Pay to Play Act in California

The world of NCAA athletics was shaken up this week by the signing of the Fair Pay to Play Act by California Gov. Gavin Newsom. 

This move has the potential to change college sports forever due to the fact the players have the option to generate revenue based on their image and likeness.

According to Sports, the act declares that it is indeed illegal for colleges to prohibit student-athletes from acquiring compensation for their popularity.

The bill was signed on by NBA player Lebron James’ internet show called “Uninterrupted”. It has already been understood that James is in support of the act.

According to a recent tweet, James stated that the act could, “change the lives of countless athletes who deserve it!”

Not only does the act enable student-athletes to generate revenue based on their image, they are also permitted to hire an agent, or any other representation, when negotiating and acquiring commercial opportunities.

Think about it, college athletes now have a means to make a living in college, as well as, take care of their families.

A lot of athletes who are on these scholarships have families who are a part of low-income communities.

With that being said, their parents are not always able to provide them with the tools necessary to be progressive. 

With this act, players have the opportunity to ease the stress on their families while living a comfortable life as a student-athlete.

On the show First Take that airs on ESPN, Marcus Spears, former NFL defensive linemen for the Dallas Cowboys and Southern University in Baton Rouge alumnus, said, “this is the evolution of college of athletes paying attention to the business model.”

This means that college players are now aware of the multi-billion-dollar athletic organizations that are being funded due to the talent that the players possess.

Some people make the argument that you should not receive compensation based on the amount of exposure that you create for your university because you should want to play football for the camaraderie and tradition.

Tim Tebow, a former prominent collegiate athlete and NFL quarterback, is a person who is in agreement with this notion.

Also, on First Take Tebow remarked that, “It becomes who has money, who’s going to pay them the most.”

He continued to say that allowing college athletes to make money “takes away the authenticity and realness of college football.”

While this notion is strong, taking responsibility and helping your family may take priority in the minds of people who may not be afforded the same opportunities as him.

Grambling State University wide receiver Kobe Ross looked at this act from a different perspective. He stated, “It is a great concept, but it can pose a conflict of interest.”

His reasoning behind this is that all players do not play in the same market. He expressed that, “The athletes in smaller markets won’t get the same exposure as the athletes in bigger markets.

“That kid in the smaller market may be the one who actually needs the money to survive.”

Ross was not the only athlete who felt that way. Long Beach State small forward Breyon Jackson had a very identical response.

“It has its cons because this rule really only effects players at power 5 programs versus players at mid major division 1 schools like myself,” Jackson said.

There are obvious pros in regards to this bill that involves allowing players to generate revenue based off of their hard work, but some may say that there is zero representation for the athletes who do not attend these “premier” universities.


Maurice Tandy-Patton is a senior mass communication major from Sumter, South Carolina.